So I watched Grizzly Man the other night, the unsettling documentary of Timothy Treadwell, who lived among the grizzly bears in Alaska’s Federal Preserve for 14 summers. His last summer with “his friends,” he was introduced to how seriously bears take the concept of friendship, and he was eaten, along with his girlfriend.
I thought it was an interesting film, one that left me feeling a bit uneasy and maybe even a little angry (?) at Treadwell’s misguided passions. He claimed repeatedly that he was “protecting” the bears, even though officials point out that the bears were not in any great danger (and it is unclear how him camping out near the bears was protective to them). He gave them weird names (Mr. Chocolate, Aunt Tabitha, Sgt. Brown), spoke to them in baby talk when they would look askance at him (“Don’t you look at me that way, Mr. Chocolate! You STOP that!”), and even orgasmically felt the fresh steaming crap from a grizzly (“It came FROM her! It was just INSIDE OF HER!”).
I was left with perhaps a feeling of sadness, too, because Treadwell clearly had these gaping emotional needs that the bears somehow filled, but it eventually killed him, rather gruesomely. As one reviewer wrote, “His death was pointless, avoidable — and quite possibly what he wanted.”
One bright spot in the film was definitely its soundtrack, by British musician Richard Thompson. It’s a lovely acoustic symphony with strings, steel guitars, and MOOD. Treadwell’s footage which they used was breathtakingly gorgeous, and this soundtrack captures some of that feeling. Here is the (short) opening track off the soundtrack as a sample. Recommended for a lazy weekend & available on eMusic.
Tim & The Bears – Richard Thompson