47 of 50 people found the following review helpful
, 11 Feb 2008
This review is from: The 11th Hour [DVD] (DVD)
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.
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