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Movie Review: An Inconvenient Truth

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A Global Warning indeed. The documentary is quite depressing in the sense that once the viewer is done, he or she will be left with a feeling of despair, a feeling that it’s too late for us to do anything about global warming. Despite what Al Gore may have to say about it.

As a Canadian I never knew much about Al Gore other than the stiff, silent and very boring politician he was portrayed to be through American media. I never knew how much of an environmentalist he was until the media blitz surrounding the opening of An Inconvenient Truth. It was only in February 2007 that I got around to seeing the documentary.

Let’s face it; An Inconvenient Truth is a glorified PowerPoint presentation with a stage, video cut-ins and a soundtrack. But despite being a PowerPoint presentation and all the boredom that this entails, the producers and the director managed to make it into a completely engrossing and captivating presentation.

The auditorium is a mock auditorium built from the ground up on a huge sound stage, all designed to get the best angles and lighting. It was all planned, rehearsed and re-shot until it was done right as is depicted in the DVD making-of extra. But the viewer doesn’t mind this. This is just icing for the movie. This is the presentation he gives all the time across the globe anyway. The producers just wanted to capture it in the best possible light and the reviewer sees nothing wrong with that. What’s important here is the message and not the paper it was written.

Believe it or not, Al Gore can actually be funny and entertaining despite the dire emergency of his message. He starts out by quipping “I’m Al Gore, I used to be the next president of the United States of America.” the people laugh “I don’t find that particularly funny.” he says smirking. But the jokes are to lighten up his message which is truly doom and gloom. If we don’t clean up our act or should I say, our planet… we’re screwed.

And Al Gore has the presence and demeanor to drill it into your head convincingly. If I ever have any reproach to offer to the Greenpeacers of this world – a group of which I am a member – is that they all look the same, the beard, the long hair, the skinny physique. Basically they have the vegetarian pot-smoking tree hugger stereotype working against them. Want to convince the lay people, look like a credible leader. And Al Gore does just that. He comes out like a giant on stage and owns it. And he talks passionately but not obsessively, which also works in his favor.

Then he lays out the truth. The world is going to snuff us out if we don’t do anything about and we need to do it now. He does it so efficaciously you just want to sign up to anything and do whatever he asks of you to save the world. This film definitely needs to be seen by everyone. Because I will surely not dole out the gargantuan amount of information expressed in this film, there is simply too much of it for a single review.

The message is clear and repeats what science has been telling us for decades. The earth is warming. The icecaps will melt, the water will rise. The hurricanes will get stronger, the droughts will intensify and it is all due to man made pollution. And all the data is there and the consensus is irrefutable despite what the American government does to re-write scientific data to seed doubt in the minds of Americans so that the economy can perpetuate the damage it does while making the rich richer.

This is one good thing An Inconvenient Truth and Al Gore doesn’t do, is start pointing finger at companies and rich politicians. He never makes use of cheap tactics, demagoguery or sophistry. He just keeps the focus on the message, the issue. Not that companies and rich politicians don’t need to be lined up and pointed at as the culprits; but the film has nobler intentions, to change the world, not start a spitting contest. The message aims to unite and gather people, not to further divide. Because America surely does not need more division it needs unity in front of this looming catastrophe that needs urgent action by the country to help the rest of the world face what could end civilization.

A climactic 5 outta 5. I urgently request that everyone who hasn’t seen An Inconvenient Truth, do so quickly and if you have, encourage others to do the same. In the meantime please visit http://www.climatecrisis.net/ to see what you can do the help save the world. This is necessary.

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About David Desjardins