[ONE NIGHT ONLY] Bidder 70 tells the story of Tim DeChristopher, who, at age 26, made national headlines by derailing a 2008 government lease auction for oil and gas companies. DeChristopher, who simply held up the paddle he’d received after sneaking into the auction, saved $2 million of precious land. In this modern-day version of Edward Abbey’s The Monkey Wrench Gang, DeChristopher grows from anonymous vigilante to outspoken, somewhat self-righteous activist. Set mostly in Utah, the film follows his efforts to spread awareness about the Bush administration's plan to give parcels of land to oil and natural gas companies. From West Virginia, where DeChristopher witnesses the horrors of mountaintop removal for the coal industry, to the fallout of the oil and gas industry in his home state of Utah, Bidder 70 charts the contemporary struggles of the environmental movement. While the film has beautiful shots of the American West, it grows cliché in its repetitive shots of an awe-filled DeChristopher walking through nature. And while the content is compelling, the narrative sometimes gets lost. The introduction of DeChristopher’s cultish advocacy group, Peaceful Uprising, is less of a plot point than a commercial break, and the free press for the group is just as insincere as the Kony video. That said, the story does deliver a sense that individuals have the power to effect change.
- Running Time:
- Release Date: Tuesday, October 23, 2012
- Critic's Score: B
- Watch the trailer