PBS // 2011 // 60 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // March 31st, 2012
Don't poke the bear.
Our adventure takes us to Southeast Alaska, where brown bears own the terrain. These magnificent animals roam free around the lush foliage, feasting on salmon, and generally being awesome, as bears tend to be.
Unfortunately, because of the changing climate (due to climate change, natch), the salmon migration is thrown out of whack. This becomes a major challenge for the bears, finding enough food to satiate their bear-like appetites. The salmon shortage affects not just the bears but the fishing industry as well. Commercial fishermen are unable to make enough money to offset the sky-high fuel costs.
Fortress of the Bears tells a story of perseverance, by focusing on a bear family as they attempt to negotiate the "salmon famine" (Better Title Alert), emerging alive and healthy from the challenging season.
As expected, the folks at PBS Nature deliver a well-executed look into a corner of the ecosystem that may not get as much play as dolphins or meerkats. Bears are, of course, badass, and while it's nice to see them doing their thing in their natural habitat, there's a certain sadness watching them paw through seaweed and sniff the water in desperate search for fish. Then again, I suppose that's the point.
Just under an hour's worth of edu-tainment here, presented in an impressive standard definition 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen and Dolby 5.1 Surround audio. There are no extras.
Not Guilty. Grin and bear it! (Too soon?)
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Scales of Justice
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* English (SDH)
Running Time: 60 Minutes
Release Year: 2011
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* PBS Nature