Malcolm Ingram / USA / 82 min / K-15
With hair and all
Bear, Cub, Polar Bear, Chaser. These terms are foreign to most people in the context of gay men. What’s it all about? Malcolm Ingram’s documentary Bear Nation is an excellent portrayal of the subculture of the hairy and rotund, i.e. Bears. This compelling film visits the biggest cities in the USA and Europe interviewing men of different ages, who all share the same idea of attractiveness, regardless of stereotypes and traditional beauty ideals.
Bear Nation is a warmhearted film that approaches the Bear identity with both humor and respect for its subject. It also comments on the nature of manliness and masculinity. The “double outing”—first as gay and then as bear—experiences of many interviewees are captivating. Bear Nation drips of sex and makes you wonder what the same documentary would look like, if filmed in Finland. WOOF!