An Inconvenient Truth
Dir. Davis Guggenheim. 2006. PG. 96mins. Documentary.
For years Al Gore has been touring with what he calls his “traveling global-warming show,” a multimedia lecture spelling out the bad news about what rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will do to the climate within our children’s lifetime unless we do something about it quick. This polished doc, which is built around Gore’s presentation, should extend his audience considerably.
Some obviously scripted jokes aside, Gore cuts a far more prepossessing figure than he ever did on the campaign trail, and his presentation of the evidence for man-made climate change is clear, convincing and frightening. Footage documenting the speedy breakup of ice fields at both poles, the liquidation of Greenland, and the disappearance of mighty glaciers around the world are extremely alarming, as are projections of what rising sea levels will do to various coastal cities. But Gore balances out the eco bummer with assurances that we’ve not quite reached the point of no return.
Although scenes of Gore tapping away at his laptop in limos and hotels could have been left on the cutting-room floor without much loss, some of the other personal material incorporated into the film is quite affecting, including a digression into the family tragedy that spurred the Gores to get out of the tobacco business.
A caveat: It’s impossible to listen to Gore addressing complex concepts in literate, linear sentences without comparing him to that gibbering chimp who now occupies the White House (in between bike rides, at least), If you go to the movies to get that other guy off your mind, be forewarned.—Cliff Doerksen