Bear-lover and amateur naturalist Timothy Treadwell. Courtesy photo
Mesa Public Library shows the film “Grizzly Man” at 6:30 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 5 in the Upstairs Meeting Rooms.
This is the first in a year-long series of free films that will be shown on the first Thursday of each month. The films for January, February and March have been chosen to reflect “The Best of the 2000s.”
Communing with nature takes on a whole new meaning in the hands of expert filmmaker Werner Herzog, who has nearly 70 films to his credit. The film tells the story of bear-lover and amateur naturalist Timothy Treadwell, who spent 13 summers living among grizzly bears in the Katmai National Park and Preserve.
Herzog has taken much of the footage shot by Treadwell himself and blended it with interviews with Treadwell’s friends to create a complete, if enigmatic picture of a man who felt a special kinship with grizzly bears. Herzog wrote and narrated the film. Glorious nature photography from Katmai National Park and Preserve is interwoven with Treadwell’s views as one of the founders of the Grizzly People – a group that disagrees with many Park Service regulations designed to protect wildlife. His ranting against the people who he felt would harm the bears is laced with profanity.
Herzog says of Treadwell that “he saw himself as a Prince Valiant,” a sort of crusader who knew that his was the only way to save the bears.
It is not a “spoiler” to say that Treadwell does not survive – that becomes obvious in the first few minutes of the film. Nature proves to be “red in tooth and claw,” as Treadwell’s special relationship with bears does not extend to one particular bear.
All screenings in the Mesa Public Library Free Film Series are free of charge, thanks to the Friends of Los Alamos County Libraries. The library shows movies on the first Thursday of each month. The February film is “Before Sunset” starring Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy. Check the Library’s events calendar for dates and times.