New to VOD via Amazon Instant Video this week:
AUSTRALIA’S LOST GOLD: THE LEGEND OF LASSETER
Melbourne 2012, under its original title LASSETER’S BONES
A quest to find legendary gold in the Australian bush.
Borrowing a page from the Morgan Spurlock/Michael Moore school of documentary filmmaking, Walker appears onscreen, an active participant in this treasure hunt. He joins Bob Lasseter, the 95-year-old son of Harold Lasseter, who claimed that he discovered a rich vein of gold in central Australia in 1897. As the filmmaker, archival materials, and animation reveals, the elder Lasseter managed to secure financing to set out on an expedition to retrieve the gold in 1930, but none was found and the treasure-hunter instead lost his life. A follow up decades later cast further doubt on Lasseter’s claims, but his son, who barely remembers his father, has been searching for the gold for decades to try to vindicate his father. Walker attempts to retrace Lasseter’s steps and research his claims, more often finding little clarity given the passage of time, conflicting stories, and, ultimately, the possibility that, even if there is gold to be found, it very well might be part of sacred Aboriginal lands and thus off limits. While crafting a generally engaging and sometimes fun mystery, albeit a padded one, Walker’s on-camera presence is an unnecessary distraction that further lends an unfortunate television feel to the proceedings.