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Wetass Film Classics…

January 9, 2006

When I started Wetass Chronicles back in 2003 one of the first big stories was the death of Timothy Treadwell, a societal misfit who spent more than a dozen summers in Alaska’s Katmai wilderness, living with grizzly bears, only to be killed and eaten (along with his unfortunate girlfriend) by one of the grizzlies he loved so much (click here for original Wetass stories). This past weekend I watched Werner Herzog’s documentary about Treadwell, Grizzly Man (this link comes with a beautiful, haunting song that is worth the click alone), and it is one of the most mesmerizing and thought provoking documentaries I have seen…ever. It is meticulous, harrowing, moving and tragic. Treadwell didn’t just survive alongside the bears, he lived among them. The footage he shot of himself talking to the bears, standing his ground as they approached him, befriending a den of foxes, and falling in love with one of nature’s most dangerous creatures is simply mindblowing. And Herzog brilliantly captures Treadwell’s humanity, his empathy for the grizzlies and fierce, almost messianic, desire to protect them, his growing alienation from human society, and, ultimately, his journey over the edge to where tragedy was almost certain. You come away not envying Treadwell and his brutal death, but admiring his courage, his singlemindedness, and his sense that in a mostly wasted life he had found the ultimate mission, the ultimate reason for living…and dying. Watch the trailer here. And then go rent, or buy the DVD. You’ll thank me, I promise…

Timothy Treadwell: Rest In Peace…

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