on 20 August 2008
Of the many documentaries I've watched lately, I am happy to say that The 11th Hour is the first that doesn't leave me feeling depressed, powerless and frustrated afterward--quite the opposite actually.
The 11th Hour gets its points across with the help of some very reputable interviewees and some sometimes very graphic footage. At points, I was on the verge of tears. However, the solutions section of the film was inspiring. It is this aspect of this film that makes it the best of the modern environmental documentaries I've seen. I felt relieved that even despite the bleak picture painted (and trust me, it was BLEAK!), there really ARE things we can do to reverse climate change. They are manageable, not impossible, and effective.
One scientist in the film made a very poignant point in particular: rather than lament this time we are living in as the end of civilisation as we know it and feeling the burden of the responsibility to "save the planet", we can instead choose to feel LUCKY to be born in a time when our creativity is called upon to completely reinvent all the man-made systems in place on Earth. What a privilege to be born in the generation who successfully turns things around!
The first step is to raise awareness. I suggest you buy or rent this film, invite all your friends over and watch it together.
on 11 February 2008
I watched this film in the cinema and was the only one there in a pretty sizable auditorium. Nice to have the choice of seats, but it was actually disturbing; this film should be compulsory viewing. Here's why:
1.) It's populated by the leading bigwigs and cognoscenti of science and environmentalism: David Suzuki, Stephen Hawking, Wangari Maathai...people from all over the world. Professors, journalists, politicians... Okay, not everyone, but many big names! Too many to ignore, which is partly the point.
2.) Yes, it's depressing in places, but not chronically so. The film doesn't pull its punches. You'll be told exactly where we are and exactly where we're going, and it's not reassuring (come on, you didn't really expect it to be!). Sometimes we get just the hard facts, other times it's deeply moving pieces from Native American wisdom on harmonious living. This film won't let you get away with shrugging off the issues. But there is light at the end of the tunnel and substantial attention is devoted to the possibility of avoiding a humongous, gluttonous armageddon.
3.) It has Titanic heartthrob Leonardo di Caprio in it! Al Gore was a keen and perceptive presenter in 'An Inconvenient Truth' (2006), for sure, but he lacks the Hollywood glamour of this lad about town. Now I'm no fan of di Caprio, but celebrity endorsement has massive pulling power. That can only be a good thing.
4.) The format and structure mirror the film's message. We are told that all aspects of the environment overlap and interrelate, and it is equally so with the presenters and their perspectives. The editing has been done well enough to create excellent transitions between points.
5.) You'll probably find yourself wanting to watch this film again just to reinforce the message. The information load is heavy and that can be intimidating, but if you approach television as an information medium as well as an entertainment portal then it shouldn't be any problem whatsoever. This film speaks to everyone, for everyone and, above all, about everyone. Some messages will mean more to you than others, but I can't see how anyone can disagree with the film 100%. Sooner or later, you'll find yourself paying heed to what's being said, I guarantee it.
If 'The 11th Hour' has any weaknesses, they're unavoidable side effects of its strengths. You will have to pay attention throughout. No daydreaming, pondering or woolgathering! The facts are crystal clear, frighteningly so, and you don't need every brain cell functioning to get them. But you do need to keep up the pace and stay attentive. This is a challenge, but anyone can do it. Finally, it is clearly intended for an American audience foremost. But if you've got this far, you'll know that the messages are universal and forgive them this. I personally think every thinking person should watch this at least once, and every nonthinking person at least thrice, the better to comprehend the gravity of its realisations. Place yourself in the appropriate category and act accordingly.
on 22 October 2008
The film is not so much about climate change. It is not so much about CO2. It is not so much about any ecological theme in particular, polluting the atmosphere, poisoning the oceans and waterways, exhausting the soil. It is about the inner truth that is ours, what has been our truth from the very start and what it is supposed to become if we are to survive as a species on this planet. Our inner truth is that we have a brain in connection with a body and its senses capturing the surrounding environment, which provides us with the possibility to think, to analyze, understand, synthesize and modelize what we can capture with and via our senses, the possibility to create tools and procedures that enable us to multiply our resources, and the possibility to communicate to other members of our species, present or future, through oral and written communication, live or recorded on various media, memory having been and still being on particularly efficient and economical medium. And I must admit I was nicely surprised by the maturity of the discourse. Instead of only culpabilizing us and making us feel guilty about what we do to the earth, it takes a different stand that insist on the absurdity of our present attitude that has developed to an extreme point over the last two centuries after the first industrial revolution. It does not preach going back to a pre-electricity age or to a pre-mechanical transportation age. It defends the fundamental principle of the human species in its long fight for survival and development: frugality, economy, saving, using resources with the principle that says as much as necessary but no more than needed. No waste at all, then no want eventually. And the best way not to waste is to use things and resources that are renewable, hence sustainable. Sustainability comes from the fact that we aim at economizing and never exhausting any source of whatever it is we want or need. At this level of reason and responsibility, the film turns marvelously poetic. The images, be they of catastrophes or of vital miracles, everyday natural life, are extremely beautiful and dealt without any fake editing, or so little. The beauty of the penguins walking to the ocean after their release on some beach is a moment of grace, and that shows what nature is all about: life and saving the natural resources we need to remain alive. The penguins go to the ocean the way we go to energy but they would never try to pollute or exhaust it. They will naturally live in equilibrium with their environment. And this we do not do right now. We have to change our way of thinking more than anything else. And that has to be done immediately, drastically and fast. That is only a question of political leadership, and not any maverick-ness or maverick-ity. We need calm, pondered upon and collective leadership that will give us the right, the duty, the responsibility to make the main choices and to manage and command the various procedures that will come out of these decisions. And once again the film turns poetic speaking of the mind, of the beauty of our spiritual capabilities. It valorizes in us our unique human creativity in order to make us reject our ubiquitous greed and desire to exploit to exhaustion if profit there is in it. We have to go back to the ecology of the mind our distant homo sapiens ancestors demonstrated when they started inventing tools to make hunting and fishing more efficient, and the domestication of animals and the cultivation of the earth to increase their collective resources in order to sustain the survival and development of the community with only one rule in their minds: economy, i.e. no more effort or work than necessary and no waste of what was gathered, hunted, fished or cultivated. The economy is part of the biosphere of this planet but the biosphere is not at the service of the economy. The economy must develop and can only do that by using the biosphere and its resources but in such a way that the biosphere is not exhausted, hence in a sustainable way. And that's the poetry of the message. You are not guilty of anything but humanity in general has grown irresponsible, hence wasteful and un-sustainable. Like a poem never uses one word or even syllable too many, we have to learn how to use what we need, not more, and make sure what we have used has been renewed or is being renewed for the future generations.
Dr Jacques COULARDEAU, University Paris Dauphine, University Paris 1 Pantheon Sorbonne & University Versailles Saint Quentin en Yvelines
on 3 November 2009
Whenever expansion or growth is mentioned by the politicians I've always had doubts about their policies - if a garden is of a certain size only a limited amount of produce will be possible sustaining a set amount of consumers. We are a plague unto ourselves and this DVD endorses just that and what a complex situation this is. Most naturalists are aware of change as species disappear or move and humans see a decline in their health whilst the climate makes acute changes sometimes causing devastation beyond imagination. One thing leads to another as for example the greenhouse gas effect causing the ice cap to melt - leading to more of the Earth warming up - resulting in more ice melting with resultent higher sea levels and extensive loss of land. There are some very clever and intriguing answers to some of the many problems.
It is a quietly spoken lecture by many top experts with, of course, many impressive film shots. I nearly forgot to mention that Mikhail Gorbachev has a part in this amongst many other eminent experts including Stephen Hawking.
Leonardo diCaprio has put this together very efficiently - let's hope something materializes in the near future!
on 16 November 2009
This film was a great, influential documentary that further opens the eyes of the public to the severe problems of climate change that we are experiencing here and now. Leonardo Dicaprio's narration helps deliver the film's message in a clear and interesting way. Many problems with current methods and practices in society are discussed along with shocking facts that illustrates the situation we are left with, and then the film follows on to conclude with positive facts and ideas for change for the future leaving a positive feeling and outlook for the planets future if we act.
Anyone who has watched 'An Inconvenient Truth' by Al Gore, has an interest in climate change, or even a general interest in documentaries, would definately enjoy this DVD. In fact I would recommend this to anyone.
on 7 March 2010
It is true, that much of what is put forward in The 11th hour is already out there. But it is still very much worth seeing. Especially the last part of the movie, where the focus is on, what can be done to save the planet (and us). It was very uplifting to hear all these smart and enthusiastic people looking forward to getting to work on the issue. One of the scientist in the movie said he actually feels lucky to get to work on such an exciting challenge. That is a refreshingly new perspective on the whole thing. Wish him and the others all the best in their endavours! And well done, Leo :-)
on 6 April 2016
Leonardo does a good job on the DVD. You can tell he means what he says, and isn't just a celeb talking head. The subject matter of the DVD should be out there in the public domain daily. Until everyone understands what it is at stake on our one and only home, it will take longer to get things done.
Someone once said: What if you were told that there were a group of assorted beings who were on a journey through deep space, aboard a large spaceship. Yet those aboard the spacecraft began to use up their supplies recklessly and with no thought for the future? What if I said that the crew were called humans and that the closed system spacecraft was planet Earth.Would you change your opinion, or your behaviour?
The person that said this is Mike Oram.