“Sue” was the thirteenth Tyrannosaurus rex ever unearthed. You may wonder how a feature-length documentary about Sue could hold your attention; however, the fight for her custody after she was discovered is something that you have to see to believe. The synopsis of “Dinosaur 13” gives the impression that it chronicles a paleontological dig but the focus of this documentary is actually on a ten-year battle with the FBI. The film is very one-sided in its argument against the legal protection of fossils on public land but its narrow perspective will strongly engage your emotions, especially when Maurice Williams lays claim to Sue. One great part of this film is that its main character can easily be visited at the Field Museum in Chicago. Documentaries often tackle events or artifacts of the past that have faded into history, but this one chronicles the journey of something that we can still see today. It follows in the present-a-documentary-as-a-crime-thriller technique that is in vogue and it succeeds. “Dinosaur 13” is as gripping as most action films while presenting historical fact and persuasive arguments. Definitely add this to your list of must-see documentaries, even if you don’t have an interest in science and paleontology.
[Pictured: A little insight into dinosaur excavation and a lot of insight into fossil law]