Toronto International Film Festival 2021 Capsule Review: Nuisance Bear

Written by Alexander Reams


The bear population is a topic of controversy. Animal rights activists say they should be able to roam wherever they want. Everyone else generally agrees that they are cute, but dangerous. There are countless examples of bears being dangerous to society. Going into this I assumed it would be a message piece that wanted me to feel bad for bears. What followed instead was a meditative work on bears roaming which proved to be much more interesting, but did lose me by the end. What works here is the cinematography, putting the viewer in the landscape of this film. I felt every step the bear took, every breath that was exhaled, a huge credit to the sound mixer. What does not work is the way the filmmakers went about conveying this story. I felt constantly disconnected from the subject of the film. There seemed to be no heart behind it, which detracted from the piece throughout. I love to emotionally connect with films but Nuisance Bear was unable to pull me in in any meaningful way. The beauty of the film is it’s combination of the aural and the visual, take one away, and the other should replace what is taken away. That doesn’t happen here. Despite the absence of an emotional connection there is at least gorgeous cinematography to behold throughout the film which puts many of the best DPs to shame.

Nuisance Bear Trailer

Nuisance Bear was screened as part of Toronto International Film Festival 2021.

You can connect with Alexander on his social media profiles: Instagram, Letterboxd, and Twitter. Or see more of his work on his website.

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