' ' Cinema Romantico: An Inconvenient Truth

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

An Inconvenient Truth

How many so-called horror movies does Hollywood release each year? A dozen? Two dozen? More than that? Well, if you really have any desire to be horrified I recommend you rent "An Inconvenient Truth", turn out all the lights and prepare to feel your stomach curl. It is truly scary.

This is the documentary film in which features former Vice President Al Gore takes an hour and a half to advise us that global warming is real, and not only is it real but that it is being caused by human activity. He shows us numerous graphics that indicate this is not a "cyclical" situation but a situation in which it is getting dramatically worse each year and will get melodramatically in the years to come.

Do I purport to be a scientist? No. Do I know the accuracy of all of Mr. Gore's information? Of course not. But what I do know is this - on Christmas Eve in Chicago, Illinois I walked to Starbucks and got an eggnog latte without wearing a jacket. I find that interesting.

I knew some about the subject matter coming in but not a whole lot. The information presented in the movie is very interesting and seems based not on hyperbole but on fact. A particular politician is presented at one point stating that "global warming is the biggest hoax perpetrated on the American people." Funky graphics and words via Al Gore's mouth to dispute this are one thing. But when he presents photos showing the shrinking glaciers of Glacier National Park and how Lake Chad in Africa has reduced in just the last few years to virtually nothing, that's another. I see what I see.

But I don't want to waste this entire review repeating the information already provided in the movie itself. Instead I want to discuss the fact that is - as I just stated - a movie. Let's not forget that. If you want to a make a movie, you have to actually make a movie - not just a ninety minute science lesson.

Admittedly, some of it does feel like a science lesson. The movie is structured around a slideshow presentation Gore reasons he has given "at least" one thousand times in many different places. It tries to provide more of a cinematic feel via a fairly static voice-over from the former Vice President and, of course, the inevitable digression into the 2000 election (which is kept brief, thankfully).

There will certainly be those who dismiss this as a political film. This is inevitable when a politician is involved. They will claim this is nothing more than Al Gore's "agenda", perhaps a good way to keep his face in the limelight. And yes, it is true that Gore specifically points fingers at a few people in our current administration.

But there is a line in the film that Gore says and it was - for me - the key moment of the entire movie and is what it made more than a mere science lesson. After Mr. Gore has presented much of the most damning information he says (and I can't remember the line exactly so I apologize in advance), Don't you think we might have some problems besides terrorists?

It's the way he delivers this line and the way he looks while he delivers it. This is not political posturing. He means what he says, truly and deeply and down to the core. And this is when you realize "An Inconvenient Truth" has nothing to do with Al Gore trying to stay relevant. He has a pure concern for the future of our world. He has true and complete conviction.

Early in the movie he talks about an early collegiate professor of his who was the first to measure carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and the results of these studies and how it was this that caused Al Gore to be worried for our planet's future and to delve into the problem. This is something he has been pursuing most of his adult life. He came to this before politics.

Al Gore is often described using cliche. He's stiff, lifeless, robotic. But the Al Gore you see onscreen here is different from all that. I consider myself a liberal but that is irrelevant. I respect a person with passion. Al Gore has it.


Anonymous said...

This is ridiculous! The movie is all lies. Glaciers melt because THEY WANT TO. Everyone knows that. The world is simply getting warmer because we're coming out of an ice age. Or something. But our glabal lifestyle should continue unabated. I demand it!

Anonymous said...

I support what that regular guy says. He sure knows his stuff.