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An Inconvenient Truth

USA 2006
Directed by
Davis Guggenheim
100 minutes
Rated PG

Reviewed by
Andrew Lee
4 stars

Inconvenient Truth, An

Synopsis: A filmed version of Al Gore’s Climate Change roadshow, An Inconvenient Truth sketches a portrait of a former next President of the USA whilst running through the evidence pointing towards global catastrophe.

“Can’t argue with a confident man,” says Napoleon Wilson in John Carpenter’s Assault on Precinct 13. Even harder is arguing with a man who has spent the past several decades of his life amassing a considerable amount of knowledge and evidence on the subject of climate change. This film is what people like to call important, and it is. There is nothing more persuasive than seeing the snows of Kilamanjaro vanish in a series of time lapse stills. Soon they’ll be gone forever. Unless something is done, and that is the point of this entertaining doomsday documentary.

This isn’t flash-and-bang film-making, it isn’t foot-in-the-door tactics affronting the governments of the world. Instead it is emblematic of Al Gore’s philosophy on how to change the world. One person at a time. The film isn’t much more than him presenting his PowerPoint slideshow on how the world is rapidly heading towards ecological catastrophe. And the visuals help a lot, especially when he starts pointing on graphs about things like population explosion, with the aid of a cherry picker. (Yes, it’s a very big number he’s talking about.) He’s an engaging speaker, his passion for the subject is obvious, and his knowledge is huge. What is more, the evidence is overwhelming. But the beauty of this portrait of the apocalypse-to-come is that there is no sense of defeat or despair in it. Gore has suggestions, solutions and inspirations to call everyone to action. There is no point in simply giving up, and we’re not screwed yet. The film is a rallying call rather than a rap over the knuckles. Gore isn’t interested in blaming people, he’s interested in energising you, personally, to do what you can to help save the planet. The sad thing is, more likely than not the only people who will bother with this film are those who are already aware of the issue. But it’s a start at least.

The film is nothing more than a camera plunked down in the middle of a lecture. But the message is inspirational. You can personally do something to change the world. And stick around for the credits, because they’ll give you a lot of ideas on where to start.




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