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|An Inconvenient Truth|
|R E V I E W B Y R I C H C L I N E||
dir Davis Guggenheim|
with Al Gore
release US 24.May.06,
06/US Paramount 1h38
Father earth: Gore
"The era of procrastination, of half measures, of soothing and baffling expedients, of delays, is coming to a close. In its place, we are entering a period of consequences."
"It's difficult to get a man to understand something if his salary depends on not understanding it."
This documentary doesn't try to convince us of anything, but instead fuels the fire under what we already know. This is urgent, important stuff that simply can't be ignored--or left to the politicians--any longer.
Yes, it's basically a filmed lecture. But Guggenheim highlights both Al Gore's personal life and the central issue to which he has devoted so much energy and time. Over the past few years Gore has crisscrossed the world delivering lectures on global warming, which he started studying in the 1960s and brought to national attention as a young congressman in the 1970s. The film punctuates his speech with pivotal events in his life--a family crisis, a tragedy, the chaos of the 2000 presidential election--to examine both the man himself and the bigger issues.
As for the material itself, Gore presents this with gravitas and sharp wit. Slick multi-media illustrates everything he says, and he adds movie voiceovers to flesh out topics beyond what he says on stage and bringing in events from the headlines. This is shocking stuff. For years we've been bombarded with propaganda telling us global warming was a myth, that it was manageable, a natural climate cycle, that it wasn't going to happen for generations. But Gore debunks all of these with raw, irrefutable facts.
Some of his points are so mind-bogglingly obvious that we wonder how anyone's been fooled by all the misinformation. Gore is careful not to point a specific finger, but the villain here is clear: American corporate influence on a controllable government. This, again, is nothing new. But to see it so starkly on screen, in a matter-of-fact, non-political, decidedly non-Michael Moore style is impressive. And extraordinarily engaging.
The title refers to the fact that if we acknowledge the facts we will have to change. Period. There is no alternative--we either keep making money and raping the planet or we will have no planet to live on. Perhaps within our own lifetimes, since climate change is already causing caused increasing numbers of large hurricanes, more droughts, floods, famines and diseases. This is indisputable.
The closing credits artfully list hundreds of things, both major and minor, we can do to repair the damage. The film's real strength is that it's both persuasive and entertaining--and far more intellectually engaging and viscerally thrilling than any goofy disaster movie. Hopefully we'll finally get the message.
|Elise Juteau, Newport Beach, California: "Appropriately titled, this film was the most profound and, yes, depressing films I've ever seen! It was depressing to see what should have been obvious to me and others, simply by observing the state of the world. I am a person, who drives much more than I need to and finds the closest parking place, no matter how long I search! I'm clearly a great part of the problem! It is time for me and others to stop living the way we do and save this planet if there is time! I will tell everyone I know - or don't know (for that matter) - about this film and problem, and I'm certain they will be resistant to change, butwe must do some changing in our day-to-day living, or we won't have any day-to-day in which to live!" (28.Jul.06)|
© 2006 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall
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