DIR/PRO/DOP/ED: Todd Douglas Miller • MUS: Matt Morton • CAST: Stan Adelstein, Lanice Archer, Robert Bakker
When a group of palaeontologists from the Black Hills Institute in South Dakota find the discovery of ‘Sue’, the most complete Tyrannosaurus Rex fossil to date, a joyous and ecstatic find is short lived when the United States government step in to seize ‘Sue’ claiming it as property of the United States of America.
Dinosaur 13 is an exceptional, gripping and emotional rollercoaster of a documentary that holds the audience’s attention from the off. Despite not having much of an interest or knowledge of palaeontology, the passion shown by Pete Larson and his comrades oozes off the screen and you can’t help but feel immersed in the world of palaeontology.
The story of ‘Sue’ and the Black Hills Institute is an extraordinary one, especially when events escalate as the National Guard swoops in to seize their supposed property. Having seen numerous documentaries over the years, Dinosaur 13 creates huge waves of emotion ranging from passion, excitement to pure anger. It’s a truly exceptional piece of filmmaking with great archived footage and powerful first-hand interviews with members of the Black Hills Institute.
While the film is a powerful one, it loses its way for a short time and the audience may become somewhat confused with complex and technical legal jargon that is difficult to comprehend.
It’s essentially a two-part film with the first half focusing on the discovery of ‘Sue’s’ fossil while the second part focuses on the legal ramifications of the dig site and what it meant for the members of the Black Hills Institute.
There have been many documentaries released this year but Dinosaur 13 may prove to be one of the greatest stories to grace our screens and it was only 65 million years in the making. A must watch film.
PG (See IFCO for details)
Dinosaur 13 is released on 15th August 2014