The thoughtful documentary “Bidder 70” sheds new light on a recent chapter of Utah history — and of the evolution of an activist’s voice.
The events are familiar to Utahns: How Tim DeChristopher, a University of Utah student and environmental activist, protested a late 2008 Bureau of Land Management auction of oil and gas leases by bidding — and how he got nearly two years in federal prison on fraud charges because his continued speechmaking ticked off the judge.
Filmmakers Beth and George Gage put DeChristopher’s activism in a larger perspective with interviews from notable voices such as author Terry Tempest Williams and actor Robert Redford. The Gages also get up-close-and-personal access to DeChristopher, detailing how the time spent awaiting trial helped him hone his voice and fuel his mission.
Opens today at the Tower Theatre; not rated, but probably PG-13 for language and mature themes; 72 minutes.