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12 years ago


Werner Herzog shot with air rifle during interview

by Jay Allen Feb 8th 2006

The BBC was videotaping an interview with Wener Herzog about 2005 movie Grizzly Man, a documentary about how young environmentalists Timothy Treadwell and Amie Huguenard were killed by bears while attempting to live among them in Alaska. (The movie was reviewed this past August by our own Ryan Stewart.) Cue the bizarre: while filming an outside scene, some miscreant shot at Herzog with an air rifle, apparently hitting him in the abdomen. Herzog insisted he wasn't hurt, and said he didn't want the BBC to try and chase down the offender.

The bizarro scene is even more amazing considering the interview that follows. At the interview's 4:00 minute mark, we see Herzog sitting with Treadwell's ex-girlfriend, listening to the tape that Treadwell made during the attack; the lens cap was on Treadwell's video camera, so only the sound was captured. Herzog whispers to the woman: "Julie, you must never listen to this." "I know, Werner," she replies tearfully, "I'm never going to." (Herzog chose not to include the audio in his film.) In another clip, Herzog describes Treadwell's irrational fearlessness of nature, and his belief that the natural world was in "balance and harmony". "I believe the common denominator of the universe is not harmony," intones Herzog, "but chaos, hostility, and murder."

Maybe the shooter was just trying to drive the point home.