Is it true that Jean-Jacques Annaud was almost killed by the star of his film “The Bear”?

On the morning of September 21, 1987, while he was in the middle of filming his film The Bear , Jean-Jacques Annaud took advantage of a break to take a few photos with Bart, the 6-year-old bear who is the star of his movie.

Annaud knows the animal well, which he has been seeing for several months. He therefore goes to his enclosure with confidence.

“We had an excellent relationship,” says the director in his autobiography A Life for Cinema (2018). But by entering his enclosure, I crossed a line that I had never crossed. We were such friends that I felt authorized to transgress the rules of territorialization. »

Jean-Jacques Annaud is preparing to take a photo with the bear on a small slope which is part of the enclosure. He then takes out his viewfinder to frame the animal [as in the image above, Editor’s note) . But something is bothering the bear. Maybe a flash of light.

He hits him violently with a paw.

The director falls flat on his face and the bear pounces on him.

“He jumped at me, but he was so heavy that he slipped and had difficulty going up the slope to catch me. He just missed me…”

Annaud plays dead. He read before filming that it was the right thing to do in the event of an attack. It will definitely save his life.

These few moments saved will allow him to be rescued by the trainers.

Bart and his trainer.

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