Gentle is as gentle does.Lynn Rogers, the bear biologist who centers the film “Bearwalker of the Northwoods,” exemplifies gentle.The tone of his narration matches his stated hopes.He wants people to understand that black bears are not scary.They are not dangerous.They are loving, intelligent creatures.
For more than 40 years, Rogers has interacted in a way that black bears routinely trust. Mostly, this devoted scientist just watches the bears.Because of the way he interacts, he gets very close. Bears eat from his hand. They let him attach radio collars without having to be tranquilized. Mama bears don’t mind him around their babies.
The cute factor is very much a part of this film, but the real success is joining Rogers in the field as he documents black bear behaviors in the wild.Until about a year and half into their second year, bears suckle with mom.You watch with Rogers as the cubs reach the time when she pushes them to live on their own.
In that timeframe, moms are ready to mate again.You see bears marking territory and making new babies. Eased by the relaxation and confidence that exudes from Rogers, you get to see a family of bears grooming and playing (bears love to play) and behaving just fine around well behaved humans.
The Wild & Scenic Film Festival historically holds a place in its heart for movies about bears, and “Bearwalker of the Northwoods” adds further enlightenment to this legacy.Share the gentle scientific devotion of Lynn Rogers. Visit his Minnesota, in the largest US wilderness area east of the Mississippi River.