LASSETER’S BONES | DVD REVIEW

LASSETER’S BONES is a true Australian battler story, a documentary that is as inspiring as it is sad. As heartwarming as it is heartbreaking and a movie that makes you love its leading man while at the same time thinking he is completely bonkers. It is a tale of endless possibilities and could rival Treasure Island in its search for a treasure of insurmountable wealth. It is out now on DVD from Umbrella Entertainment, it is rated G and runs for 101mins. If you want your own copy and cannot find a place to rent or purchase it you can buy it HERE.

 

LASSETER'S BONES MOVIE POSTER IMAGE
LASSETER’S BONES | THE SALTY POPCORN REVIEW | MOVIE POSTER

 

REVIEW BY JASON KING 

In 1931 Harold Lasseter’s body was found after perishing in Central Australia’s deserts. His diary revealed he’d discovered a fabulous seven mile seam of gold, worth millions, but would “give it all for a loaf of bread”. Despite hundreds of expeditions since, the gold has never been found.

This gold reef has become an urban legend, a desire to try and unravel the clues and directions left by Lasseter have led to hundreds of attempts to find the gold. The problem is it is in the most unforgiving of Australia’s locations, the Central Australian Desert, the hottest of hot and a place where disaster and death is as much a companion as if you were climbing Everest, just a tad warmer.

 

HAROLD LASSETER IMAGE
LASSETER’S BONES | THE SALTY POPCORN REVIEW | HAROLD LASSETER

 

And this is where we meet the true character of the film, Bob Lasseter, Harold’s son. Left by his father with the torch to find the gold, Harold has been searching for the lost gold for his entire life since his father’s body was found. Put it this way, Bob is now 85yrs old and still looking daily. I think it became more the journey was the gold and not the destination. Filmmaker Luke Walker is determined to find the gold and decided to spend a lot of time searching for the gold and getting to know Bob.

So together they set off, with some added funding, and scour landmarks similar to the description in Harold’s remaining, and now very worn, diary.

It is a passionate and heartwarming tale of Bob and his lifetime spent wandering the desert looking for a huge hit of gold that destroyed his childhood and took his slightly crazy father from him.

 

HAROLD LASSETER'S DIARY IMAGE
LASSETER’S BONES | THE SALTY POPCORN REVIEW | A PAGE FROM HAROLD LASSETER’S DIARY

 

The film is beautifully filmed and tells a great true Australian story that has it all. Adventure, passion, dedication, beautiful landscapes, death, tragedy, controversy and treasure. But then you look at Bob and you realise that this treasure will never be found and then the sadness dawns, that stupid gold reef, that may not even exist will have destroyed not only Harold but Bob as well.

Is Bob doing it for the gold? Is he doing it to face off with his father’s killer? Is he just freaking insane? All this goes through your mind.

Luke interviews a lot of people and really does some investigative journalism into the back story and uncovers quite a few things about Harold that are not encouraging. He uncovers some incredible things about Harold as well but some of the negatives lead me to believe that perhaps he made it all up as a final fuck you to everyone who gave up on him. Or in that heat as he lay dying did he become delusional, at that time in life he had to be half bonkers to even venture into this inhospitable land.

 

BOB LASSETER IMAGE
LASSETER’S BONES | THE SALTY POPCORN REVIEW | BOB LASSETER

 

Very well made by Luke Walker but overly long I started losing interest at about an hour and this is my only issue with the film. It is too long, and how will this film find a home entertainment market? This is a film that should have done the festival circuit. I would have loved this as an hour long episode of Australian Story or a special TV docco of an hour running time.

It digs and digs and finds out some amazing things but it doesn’t really go anywhere besides this and showing us the lovely man Bob. Bob is a character and I would love nothing more than him finding his gold before he is taken by the sands of the desert and for him to become a national hero and icon.

Bob is an amazing part of Australian history, a man who dedicates his entire life to looking for one thing. I tip my hat to him and wish him all the best. Just find the bloody thing Bob – you don’t have many more left in you old timer!

LASSETER’S BONES has its own website HERE and even a FACEBOOK PAGE – suss them out – have you seen it? What did you think?

 

3 Pops