Environmental advocate Timothy Treadwell had filmed many of his expeditions into the Alaskan national parks to hang with bears prior to his death at the claws of a grizzly in 2003. German director Werner Herzog came across a documentary project on Treadwell already in progress and volunteered himself as director; in the process, as he says in voice-over narration, "I discovered a film of human ecstasy and darkest inner turmoils." While it initially seems like standard nature documentary stuff, Herzog plays movie critic with it, and ends up analyzing the work the way a film-school professor might scrutinize Tarkovsky. In life, Treadwell invoked extreme reactions in people, and he still does in death. Was he a great pro-wildlife crusader? A nutcase who did more harm than good? Herzog is primarily interested in Treadwell the filmmaker, but you'll likely be fascinated with him as a human being.
Director: Werner Herzog
Producer: Erik Nelson
Cast: Timothy Treadwell, Amie Huguenard, Werner Herzog, Warren Queeney, William Fulton, Sam Egli, Marnie Gaede, Marc Gaede, Larry Van Daele and Franc Falico