Global warming, take 2

Review by Vives Anunciacion
Inquirer Libre October 11, 2007

“You’ve heard it hundreds of timesYou say you’re aware, believe and you care,
but…Do you care enoughTo talk with conviction of the heart?”
– Kenny
Loggins, Conviction of the Heart

The 11th Hour
Directed by Nadia Conners, Leila Conners Petersen
Documentary presented by Leonardo Di Caprio

Kung kinulang ka pa ng impormasiyon tungkol sa global warming at climate change, baka makatulong kung si Leonardo Di Caprio na ang magpaliwanag ng sitwasiyon sa The 11th Hour.

Global warming and climate change are already big issues in many countries, lalu na sa China, the US and India which are the biggest air polluters in the world. Since last year’s Oscar-winning An Inconvenient Truth, ipinaliwanang na that human activity in the last 100 years has caused severe damage to the earth’s atmosphere, putting life on the planet, specifically human life, at risk.

Wasting no time to preach the doom of environmental degradation, Di Caprio and a diverse group of some 50 experts – scientists, authors, activists, scholars, politicians – take turns lecturing on the extent of damage caused by pollution, overpopulation, overfishing, deforestation and other human activities, which all began sharply during the Industrial Revolution. Towards the end The 11th Hour makes repeated calls for humans to take positive action.

At 95 minutes, the movie is a continuous stream of factoid after scary factoid all meant to drive a point that if humans do not act immediately the dangers of ignoring the problem would be catastrophic on a global scale. As such, the actions that humans must make should also be global in effort. As the movie stresses, not only is it the 11th hour, it’s 11:59.

However important and dire its messages may be, The 11th Hour as a movie is but an extended advocacy advertisement with an endless barrage of talking heads and loosely edited images, frequently without audio-video lock. Unlike An Inconvenient Truth which had a digestible volume of information, The 11th Hour threatens to overwhelm its audience with information actually already available months or years before.

Worse, the movie offers no hard-line solutions even if it tangentially attacks the powers that be. Solar power, wind power and hydrogen-fueled cars are mentioned solutions. As they were10 years ago. What about the vast tracts of forested land converted to cattle grazing pasture to supply beef to multinational burger chains? Or the human addiction to oil?

Watching The 11th Hour is but a small part in the process of finding solutions, but watching it inside a large air-conditioned mall powered by petroleum is ironically part of the systemic problem.

The 11th Hour is released in limited theaters beginning October 10.

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