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Timothy Treadwell learns a rather painful lesson about living with bears in GRIZZLY MAN

Timothy Treadwell learns a rather painful lesson about living with bears in GRIZZLY MAN

GRIZZLY MAN (Werner Herzog, 2005)
BAMcinématek, BAM Rose Cinemas
30 Lafayette Ave. between Ashland Pl. & St. Felix St.
Tuesday, April 29, 7:30

For thirteen straight summers, Timothy Treadwell ventured into the wilds of Katmai National Park in Alaska, where he lived among grizzly bears. For the last five of those years, he brought along a video camera and detailed his life with them and his battle to protect the bears (all of which he named) from poachers. “I have no idea if there’s a God, but if there’s a God, God would be very, very pleased with me,” Treadwell says into his camera in Werner Herzog’s brilliant documentary Grizzly Man, “because he can just watch me, how much I love them, how much I adore them, how respectful I am of them, how I am one of them. . . . Be warned: I will die for these animals, I will die for these animals, I will die for these animals. Thank you so much for letting me do this. Thank you so much to these animals for giving me a life. I had no life. Now I have a life.” In October 2003, Treadwell and his girlfriend, Amie Huguenard, were brutally killed and eaten by one of the bears. Herzog, who knows a little something about filming in treacherous locations (Fitzcarraldo, Little Dieter Needs to Fly, Aguirre, the Wrath of God), made Grizzly Man from more than one hundred hours of tape, supplementing that with interviews with Treadwell’s friends and family. They all talk about a much-loved but troubled man who was desperate to be famous. His life with the bears got him onto television with Rosie O’Donnell and David Letterman, but it also got him killed, which some people think was what he deserved for crossing the line and thinking he could survive living with grizzlies. But Herzog shows him to be a thoughtful, compassionate man who just might have found his true purpose in life. (To find out more about Treadwell, check out The Grizzly Man Diaries here.). Although the film, which features a gorgeous score by Richard Thompson, won or was nominated for numerous awards (including editing, directing, and best documentary), it was curiously shut out at the Oscars. Grizzly Man is being shown April 29 at 7:30 as part of the BAMcinématek series “Science on Screen” and will be followed by a Q&A with wildlife journalist Jon Mooallem, moderated by science writer Robert Lee Hotz. The series concludes May 29 with George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead, followed by a Q&A with author Sonia Shah.

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