An Inconvenient Truth
directed by Davis Guggenheim
starring Al Gore
Throughout his new film, An Inconvenient Truth, Al Gore is full of hot air, literally. That’s because the former Senator, Vice President and Presidential Candidate lets all the air out in his personal struggle to draw attention to his favorite political topic, global warming.
For almost two full hours, Gore stands his ground and remains reticent, talking earnestly about the political and environmental issue he sees as the gravest challenge to humankind. As he tirelessly assails big business, inefficient government and greedy capitalists, Gore brings this issue to a new light, boiling its complexities down into a palatable nugget of Environmentalism 101, complete with fancy looking charts, graphs, maps, pictures, CGI effects and even a brief cartoon clip via Matt Groening’s Futurama. Things get really heady when the former VP rides a boom jack to enthusiastically bring home his message of crisis and despair.
Gore’s alarming thesis in a nutshell is this; the effects of global warming are affecting everyone on the planet. The crux of his argument focuses on the perils of the melting glacial ice caps and how they are dangerously close to breaking off, causing chaos on a global scale. He buffers his argument by pointing out that global warming is an all-encompassing ——–crisis that with the dangerous ramifications of natural disasters, massive population diasporas and the continued extinction of entire species of wildlife.
Not known for his charisma, humor or charm, this film features Al Gore in a different light. He combines humor and personal reflections to de-stiffen his image. Gore actually appears more comfortable and less wooden then he did on the campaign trail. This personal touch helps him accentuate his point that global warming is a large scale catastrophe.
Another thing Gore does to make his point is to reach out to the audience and appear more sincere by breaking the tension of his ‘slideshow’ with vignettes of himself speaking about his lifelong devotion to this issue. In doing this, Gore opens himself up, becoming more than just another scientist or politician prattling on about the Earth.
Although An Inconvenient Truth doesn’t paint the prettiest of pictures, it nonetheless strikes notes of optimism. Gore believes we have decades before we reach a critical juncture. During this time we can convert energy, embrace new technology and use awareness to change our fortunes.
Part documentary, part performance art, part science lecture, An Inconvenient Truth is a bold documentary that will challenge how people think about global warming. It is one of those documentaries that audiences will either accept with alarm and panic or simply dismiss as meaningless liberal poppycock. But no matter what side of the political spectrum you are on, you will be impressed with Gore’s seriousness and heartfelt presentation.
An Inconvenient Truth is a film about struggle. It chronicles one man’s struggle to call to light the impending calamities of global warming to an unaware mass population. It also features a planetary struggle to overcome adversity for survival in the age of SUV’s, wildlife drilling and a uniformed public. It is only fitting and ironic, then, that this controversial film must also be embroiled in a struggle. It must fight to get its voice heard against the trivial superheroes, mutants and hidden codes that pollute the bland cineplexes and prefabricated metroplexes of suburbia.
One thing is true though, it’s not easy being green. That’s because the sad realities and dire state of affairs highlighted throughout An Inconvenient Truth are almost too alarming and too disturbing to ignore. That is why if you see only one documentary this year, see An Inconvenient Truth.