Movie Review: Dung Dynasty (2018)

Synopsis: This nature documentary talks about the African dung beetle, its role in nature and the hazards it faces while collecting animal feces both for food and procreation.

Who's in it? The movie is narrated by Joe Szymanski.


Review: Since it was once again my wife's MMA night last night, I used my alone time to find another movie to watch in her absence. This one caught my attention on Paramount Plus solely because of the title and I have to say I enjoyed it a lot more than I was expecting.

I knew the basic concept of a dung beetle but honestly didn't know a whole lot of details about the insect until watching this documentary. For one, I didn't even know there was more than one type of dung beetle and thought it was interesting how the different types play different roles even as they are essentially accomplishing the same mission.

Overall, I ended up gaining a whole new appreciation for the insect species and just how complex nature is. I thought it was fascinating that the beetles navigate using the sun and stars, use their dung balls to avoid baking in the hot African sun and work efficiently even when injured.

The way the movie is narrated, making the dung "families" seem a bit like mafia families, helped keep me interested, as did the numerous perils the insects faced, whether it was hungry predators, being crushed by the animals that were providing them the dung or from rival dung beetles looking to steal food or mates. Even the type of dung can make a difference in their lives. It's such a complex world, it's amazing the insects didn't die out a long time ago.

The one thing I will say about this movie is it may not be something you will want to watch while eating. Let's just say there's a lot of poop and some of it isn't that pleasant looking up close. In other words, it's probably not for someone with a weak stomach.

Final Opinion: It was a surprisingly educational and entertaining documentary that I had fun watching. Again, you may not want to be eating when watching it, but it's still worth taking the time to do so if you get a chance.

My Grade: A

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