Bear 71

Friday February 03, 2012 Written by ronan

Bear 71 is the female subject of Leanne Allison and Jeremy Mendes's interactive web documentary produced for the National Film Board of Canada.

Officials at Banff National Park collared Bear 71 when she was three, and were able to record her daily life via the park's many trail cameras. The resulting film, installed recently at Sundance, is a unique and affecting insight into the life of a grizzly bear growing up in a semi-controlled environment. But it's more than that.

Narrated from the point of view of the beleaguered bear herself, the doco becomes interactive after the first couple of minutes. Viewers find themselves located in the park where they can navigate the terrain, learning about the environment and animals.

The cross-over of animal and human, nature and technology presents a rather unsettling picture at times. Prepare yourself for a few "What have we done?" moments.