Tag Archives: Activism

Does the Bare Necessities Reveal a Grizzly Truth? – An Interview with Tom Reissmann

30 Mar

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By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

Available to view on demand on Vimeo
starting March 30th. 2017

Whether created by animation or live-action, the great bear has come to symbolize one of several things. As a symbol of strength and courage — or perhaps a constellation you see on the night sky — this animal’s importance to nature and in a grander a cosmic scheme must never go unnoticed. In the cartoon world, we have beloved characters like Yogi the Bear (created by Hanna-Barbera in 1958) and Baloo from Disney’s The Jungle Book (1967) / Tail Spin (1990). Jump ahead a little more than a decade, this studio made Brother Bear (2003) which looked at how man should respect nature and understand tolerance. The main character, Kenai, was transformed into a bear, and had to learn for himself why this animal is so revered within his tribe. In Haida culture, this gentle creature is known as the “Elder Kinsman” and is treated as a noble guest instead of a thief because it stole from the river, which also provided sustenance to the locals.

If only the people who hunt them can treat and think of these gentle creatures the same way. In this documentary, the hunters sort of say they do, but that’s for the viewer to decide. I was offered the opportunity to get a sneak preview of a very thought-provoking and insightful program. It looks the role this animal and where it stands within different organizations. From the hunter’s perspective to governmental and First Nations, everybody has an opinion on a hot political topic in this year’s British Columbia election: to finally ban grizzly bear hunting. They are sought after more often as trophys these days, which is sad. For those just wanting to take a snapshot, it it even helpful to the local economy? A lot is said to view the pros and cons of both, and this film nicely walks the fine line than lean towards a specific stance.

In Africa, the lion is said to be on top of the food chain. In North America, it is the bear. Destroy the alpha, and there will be problems. This fact and many other details are revealed in this documentary that’s now available online to view. And writer/director Tom Reissmann had other facts to reveal about the making of this film:

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