Each week, I'll cover the documentaries that had a significant impact on me. Consider it a primer to be becoming a docuphile. I encourage you to leave your favorite documentaries in the comments or tweet at me at @robinhardwick. This week, a man who loved the bears of Alaska so much he gave his life for it.
What: Grizzly Man (2005)
Who:: Tim Treadwell, a charismatic guy who dedicated every summer for thirteen years to living among the Grizzlies of Alaska. In the ultimate ironic ending, he was mauled and killed by one of the very bears he cared so much about.
What Makes It A Compelling Story: Treadwell taped 100+ plus of footage of the bears, getting better footage than any nature photographer would. Treadwell had an undeniable love for the bears, naming them and talking to them as if he was their keeper. At first, it seems somewhat childish, but his earnest charm wins you over. Treadwell, a failed actor, thought he would bring the love of the Grizzlies to a nature show. The documentary, narrated by the notorious over-analyzer Werner Herzog, paints a picture of a tortured man, and also interviews his friends and loved ones. If a story about a passionate artists doesn't get to you, there is gorgeous shots of the bears in their habitat and several shots of adorable fox pups to keep anyone invested.
Grizzly Man is currently available to stream on Netflix.