Directed by Werner Herzog and released in it’s home country of the USA in 2005.
Werner Herzog’s subjects are always extraordinary and eccentric people, regardless of whether or not his film is a documentary. Previous films like God’s Angry Man and Fitzcarraldo are two great examples of extraordinary and eccentric character subjects and the latter of which was made with equal eccentricity by Herzog.
Grizzly Man, however, is Herzog’s finest film as a documentary filmmaker. Taking real footage filmed by it’s subject, Timothy Treadwell, Herzog splices interviews with Treadwell’s family and friends with footage of the grizzly bear enthusiast studying the bears and protecting them from poachers and what not. The obvious stand-out scene is that which appears around the midway mark. Werner Herzog is allowed to listen to the tape which features the death of Timothy Treadwell and his then-girlfriend while Tim’s ex-girlfriend watches on unaware of what sounds are on the tape.
Herzog is an unbelievably conventional filmmaker and his techniques have been seen in cinema for over a century now but he always manages to keep his ideas fresh. His themes of humanity, compassion for his subjects, aswell as never failing to show the other side of the argument (a staple of any non-bias documentary), despite how he may feel about his particular subject at that time, always shine through plot and characters in every one of his films.
Grizzly Man is a beautiful film about one man who fought, not for his own human rights, but for the rights of the animals he lived with for over 13 summers.