August 15 - 21.
The true tale of one of the greatest discoveries in history.
On August 12, 1990, in the badlands of South Dakota, paleontologist Peter Larson and his team from the Black Hills Institute unearthed the largest, most complete Tyrannosaurus rex ever found. It was the find of a lifetime—the world’s greatest dinosaur discovery. They named their dinosaur Sue. Two years later, when the FBI and the National Guard showed up, battle lines were drawn over ownership of Sue. The U.S. government, world-class museums, Native American tribes, and competing paleontologists became the Goliath to Larson’s David as he and his team fought to keep their dinosaur and wrestled with intimidation tactics that threatened their freedom as well. Dinosaur 13 chronicles an unprecedented saga in American history and details the fierce battle to possess a 65-million-year-old treasure. With consummate skill, filmmaker Todd Miller excavates layer after layer, exposing human emotion in a dramatic tale that is as complex as it is fascinating.
My favorite part of visiting the American Museum of Natural History in New York is walking down the Helibrunn Cosmic Pathway which wraps around the outside of the Hayden Planetarium. It is 360ft long, and every step you take represents millions of years in the universe’s 13-billion-year history. At the very end is the Age of the Dinosaurs, and just a little further down is an actual human hair, representing the duration of human existence. The width of a human hair. It puts things in prospective.
That’s what this film, and its subjects, did for me. It put things in prospective. Our existence can be measured in a blink of an eye. And why we wonder about what came before us and what will come after us, one principle that makes us all unique in this precious moment of time is the principle of the human condition… the way in which we treat each other, and the way in which we treat the time and space we exist in.
Dinosaur 13 chronicles the human element inside the time and space of an unprecedented saga in American history, but the film is much more of a profound statement on the question of existence and what it means to be living in our time.
Todd Douglas Miller has been making films and short-form content for over a decade. His films include Gahanna Bill and Scaring the Fish. His short-form work has won numerous international and national awards. Todd Miller has been making films and short-form content for more than a decade. His films include Gahanna Bill and Scaring the Fish. His work with shorts has won numerous international and national awards, including CINE Golden Eagle, Telly, Aurora, and Axiem awards. Dinosaur 13 is his first feature-length documentary. He lives in Brooklyn.