Grizzly Man

2005 Documentary

Filmmaker Werner Herzog adds another real-life character to his growing pantheon of people who walk a fine line between visionary genius and madness in this documentary. Timothy Treadwell was a self-styled authority on bears who, starting in 1990, would spend as much time as possible each year in Alaska, camping out near a grizzly bear habitat. While Treadwell claimed to love the bears and felt as one with them, he had no formal training in their behavior, and while familiarizing himself with the creatures he would walk within a few feet of them with a video camera in hand. To many, Treadwell seemed part man of nature, part conjuror, and part self-promotion expert, but the part that guided his kinship with the bears failed him in 2003, when he and his girlfriend were killed in a grizzly attack. Treadwell shot hundreds of hours of footage of himself and the grizzlies, and Herzog has used this footage as the core of Grizzly Man, a documentary look at Treadwell's life and death, while also including interviews with people who knew him, animal experts, and scientists. Acclaimed British guitarist Richard Thompson composed and performed the film's musical score. more..

Director: Werner Herzog


  • Brilliant, poetic, and utterly unique.

    David Sterritt - Christian Science Monitor

    26 April 2013

  • A mesmerizing work of disturbing power and unease.

    Lisa Schwarzbaum - Entertainment Weekly

    26 April 2013

  • Mr. Herzog's perspective is an invaluable balance to Mr. Treadwell's as the animal advocate approaches what seems like madness.

    - The Wall Street Journal

    26 April 2013

  • Herzog conducts his own expedition into knowing the unknowable -- the true task of any filmmaker. Herzog makes it an art.

    Peter Travers - Rolling Stone

    26 April 2013

  • A haunting and fascinating portrait of so much that is worth exploring: the implacability of nature, the hubris of human endeavor and the line between supreme dedication and madness.

    Claudia Puig - USA Today

    26 April 2013


  • Best Edited Documentary Film

    American Cinema Editors (2006)

  • Best Documentary

    Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards (2006)

  • Best Documentary

    Chicago Film Critics Association Awards (2006)

  • Best Director

    Chlotrudis Awards (2006)

  • Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Documentary

    Directors Guild of America (2006)