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Movie review: ‘Bidder 70’ chronicles the genesis of an activist’s voice

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Tim Dechristopher. Courtesy | Gage and Gage Productions

By Sean P. Means

The Salt Lake Tribune

First published May 09 2013 02:20PM
Updated May 9, 2013 09:36PM

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.

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