Dinosaur 13

by Katlyn Richter on October 7, 2014 · 0 comments

In May, I attended the Black Hills Film Festival. I’ve been to each festival since it began 5 years ago, and every year something special touches me. Every year I go home talking about something – some movie, an interesting topic, and of course, the many great people I meet – but, this year, the highlight of the festival was the showing of Dinosaur 13.
 Dinosaur 13 is the story of the custody battle for Sue, the largest, most complete T. Rex ever found. It premiered at Sundance Film Festival and was purchased for theatrical distribution by Lionsgate. It sold for one million dollars, an unusually high amount for a documentary. The Black Hills Film Festival in Hill City was one of few select festivals that was able to screen the documentary prior to its theatrical release.

As I mentioned, the Black Hills Film Festival takes place in Hill City. I was able to watch this documentary in the very town where the drama took place. I sat surrounded by not only community members, but members of the Black Hills Institute of Geology involved in the battle over Sue. In fact, I sat directly behind one of the geologists who was featured frequently in the film. It was his first time watching the documentary. Sitting next to his wife. the couple winced during every grueling part of the story. The emotions they experienced during the showing was raw and powerful, which added power to my own viewing experience.

I won’t give away too much of the story here on this blog, but I do encourage readers to check out www.dinosaur13movie.com. The website lists several places where you are able to purchase the documentary on demand to watch in your home. The film has been screened at dozens of festivals in locations like Wales, England, Norway, Scotland, the Black Hills of South Dakota, Australia, and dozens of others. It was an absolute treat to watch it at the Black Hills Film Festival in the exact city where Sue was dearly loved by these scientists.

Next time you come to South Dakota, be sure to stop at the Museum at the Black Hills Institute, which is where Sue was brought after being discovered. After watching Dinosaur 13, I don’t think that I’ll look at fossils the same. It was amazing how much love goes into these discoveries. I certainly will no longer be able to walk into this museum without being overwhelmed with emotion. The museum describes itself as “a modest but incredible natural history museum. Natural history enthusiasts can rest assured; you will find something unique in this treasure trove of amazing dinosaurs, fossils, minerals and collectibles from all over the world.” After watching Dinosaur 13, I am sure that they are right.


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