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