One of the recurrent elements in Werner Herzog's oeuvre is the search for the obsessive side of man. In this respect, Timothy Treadwell, an actor with questionable social skills who reinvented himself as an animal lover, fits seamlessly into Herzog's gallery of passionate people. For 13 years, Treadwell obsessively protects a group of grizzly bears every summer in a wildlife reserve in Alaska. Meanwhile, he immortalises his unsolicited animal welfare work on video. Until the day he and his girlfriend are devoured by one of the wild bears. The irony of Treadwell's death and the 100 hours of video footage he left behind inspired Herzog to make a nature film in which the bears only play supporting roles. Incorporating Treadwell's footage, Herzog sharply criticises his subject's character, by no means avoiding interpretation or manipulation. This is Herzog's reconstruction of the life of an extraordinary but wounded man. The imposing landscapes of Alaska, filmed by Herzog's crew, are scrupulously alternated with Treadwell's video diary and the images he made of "his" bears over the course of 13 summers. Richard Thompson's soundtrack is the final ingredient in a bizarre portrait of a man whom Herzog views as a fellow filmmaker to the end.