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Grizzly Man is a controversial documentary from Lion Gate Films. It chronicles late filmmaker Timothy Treadwell and the bears he lived with for six years, and eventually was killed by. At first glance Grizzly Man appears to be a documentary about bears, but this perception is misleading. Yes, it does contain footage of bears and their environment, but at its core it’s a fascinating character study of the tragic filmmaker. The film deals the experiences of Timothy Treadwell. Treadwell is an environmentalist that lived in Katmai National Park and Preserve every summer for thirteen years. During this time his affection and delusions are chronicled. While it seems that his footage is the primary concern at the start, the film just as equally focuses his life and eventual death by the very creatures he swore to protect. Director Werner Herzog paints a sympathetic, if dissenting picture of the Treadwell. Treadwell’s enthusiasm is readily apparent, almost contagious. His love for what he does is so strong it’s almost tangible. However it becomes painfully obvious that the man’s perception of reality was woefully idealized. The beauty he fell in love with does take ones breath away, but just as quickly Herzog has no hesitation about showing the gruesome and horrid results. Along with his grisly fate the film explores Treadwell’s effort to idealize himself and his cause. Delusions of poaching and threats from park official that are described fall just short of manic. Ultimately, the film doesn’t ask for pity form it’s viewers, but understanding. Treadwell. His death may have been an ironic tragedy, but you cannot mistake his happiness at what he was doing. While the films treatment of the subject matter is contested, one cannot argue over the excellence of the execution. The cinematography (or lack thereof) makes this film a feast for the eyes. Vivid colors and beautiful scenery permeate the majority of the film. The most remarkable touches are the almost cinematic views of nature in the background and unchoreographed interaction that Treadwell has with local wildlife. A shot of him hiking with two foxes loyally in tow, or said fox playfully positioning itself on top of his tent makes the mans obsession with this land certainly relatable. The character study is just as interesting as anything Treadwell filmed himself. While some moments very well contain rants that seems typical of the kook Treadwell has been caricaturized as, you see a very real man before you. In his journal you learn of his dreams and aspirations. His recount of his passion pulling him from alcoholism is just as heartfelt as any scene of nature provided. The pace is careful and deliberate. Fleshing out scenes as needed, but never dwelling to the point of boredom. Treadwell’s compassionate footage of these fascinating creatures and their home are juxtaposition with scenes concerning his death creates a conflicting change from delusion and reality. I can whole heartedly recommend this film, not only because it offers a rare glimpse into some of the most beautiful settings nature has to offer, but because it gives an even rare view of human nature and the heart.