Thursday, April 21 at 7 p.m.—MIDDLEBURY—Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival (MNFF) has selected “Grizzly Man” for its monthly screening. The multi-award-winning documentary will be shown Thursday, April 21 at 7 p.m. at Town Hall Theater in Middlebury.
In keeping with the theme of this year’s Selects series, Humans and Animals: Shared Experiences, Intersecting Worlds, this stunning and unforgettable film, directed by the legendary German filmmaker Werner Herzog, is a docudrama that centers on grizzly bear aficionado Timothy Treadwell who periodically journeyed to Alaska to study and live with the bears.
Treadwell was killed, along with his girlfriend, Amie Huguenard, by a rogue bear whom he had never previously encountered in October 2003. Herzog deftly explores Treadwell’s compassionate life as he found solace among these endangered animals. “Grizzly Man” is an epic tale of the profound and fraught relationship between a man and the animals he dared to befriend. Winner of the 2005 Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Documentary, along with the NY, LA, Chicago and Toronto Film Critics Award for Best Documentary, “Grizzly Man” is as essential now as it was upon its release some 17 years ago. The film is rated R.
With considerable admiration for “Grizzly Man,” the Washington Post’s Desson Thomson wrote that the film was “a small masterpiece of a documentary that takes us into the heart of a complex darkness: the mysterious land of Alaska, the world of grizzly bears and, most significantly, the soul of Timothy Treadwell, a man who tried to break down the atavistic borders between man and beast, and failed.” Moreover, Thomson observed, “Treadwell also left behind an extraordinary gift for humankind: 100 hours of video recordings of his time with the bears over his last five summers. Herzog took the footage and edited it into this feature-length film. The result is an extraordinarily moving portrait of a man, a sort of illiterate artist, untrained as a filmmaker but powered by his own conviction and personal vision. “Grizzly Man” is also about us and the wild impulses that we listen, and don’t listen, to. We are connected with animals but also separate from them. Treadwell thought there was more fluidity between both worlds. By trying to create an intimacy that never really existed, Treadwell became guilty of an Icarus-like hubris. And he paid the price. It’s a portrait not only of a fascinating man but also of human nature in general.”
“We are pleased to offer this astonishing documentary by one of the world’s greatest living filmmakers, Werner Herzog,” noted Lloyd Komesar, MNFF producer. “’Grizzly Man’ posits the earnest and perhaps naive optimism of Timothy Treadwell against Herzog’s own belief of nature’s implacability and inherent dominance over human beings. And yet, the sympathetic treatment of his subject elevates Herzog’s work into a thing of beauty that Claudia Puig, then of USA Today, called ‘a haunting and fascinating portrait of so much that is worth exploring.’”
The Town Hall Theater is located at 68 S Pleasant St.
Adult tickets to this film are $16, youth (12-17) are $11, and children (under 12) are $7. Tickets can be purchased through the MNFF website: middfilmfest.org/portfolio/grizzly-man/ or the Town Hall Theater website: townhalltheater.org, or by phone at 802-382-9222.
The film’s trailer can also be seen at townhalltheater.org/event/grizzly-man. For more info visit: middfilmfest.org.