‘Grizzly Man’ at 15: Werner Herzog and the Filmmaking Team Look Back on the Doc Sensation

‘Grizzly Man’ at 15: Werner Herzog and the Filmmaking Team Look Back on the Doc Sensation
In 2003, Timothy Treadwell and his girlfriend, Amie Hugenard, were killed and eaten by a bear in Alaska’s Katmai National Park. The naturalist’s tragic end followed 13 years of living in the wilderness, where he studied animals through a quixotic style that traditional scientists deemed dangerous and irresponsible.

It also brought Werner Herzog to the masses. When “Grizzly Man” came out 15 years ago, the eccentric filmmaker was familiar to the arthouse circuit as a member of the German New Wave. His best-known work was released decades earlier, but Herzog continued cranking out idiosyncratic documentaries, mining for poetry in the natural world and humankind alike.

With Treadwell, Herzog found the ideal subject: a wild-eyed obsessive carving a unique path, fully aware that it could lead to self-destruction. The movie is a small wonder of non-fiction commentary, weaving Treadwell’s revealing home videos along with the filmmaker’s own entrancing observations about
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