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An Inconvenient Truth - Review

An Inconvenient Truth

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 5 out of 5

DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: Audio Commentary With Director Davis Guggenheim; Audio Commentary By Producers Laurie David, Laurence Bender, Scott Z. Burns And Lesley Chilcott; An Update With Former Vice President Al Gore; The Making Of ‘An Inconvenient Truth’; ‘I Need to Wake Up’ Music Video By Mellissa Etheridge.

AL Gore, the man who used to be “the next President of the United States”, refers to it as an inconvenient truth – that if we continue to live the way we are, the world’s climate could be sent into a tailspin of epic destruction involving extreme weather, floods, droughts, epidemics and killer heat.

The signs are in place already. In America, Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and the surrounding area in 2005.

Temperatures across Europe, including the UK, reached record highs in July, while natural disasters across the globe are being reported on an almost monthly basis.

Davis Guggenheim’s compelling documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, follows Gore’s dedicated mission to expose the myths and misconceptions that surround global warming.

Since losing the 2000 US election by the narrowest of margins, Gore has devoted himself to raising awareness about one of the biggest issues facing the world today.

He has travelled the world to lecture on the subject and much of the footage in this documentary was assembled during his tour and taken from one of his lectures.

Yet while the subject matter may sound depressing to some, or simply scare-mongering to others, it is relayed in just the right manner.

Gore is a witty and intelligent host, yet while viewers will be laughing at some of his asides, there’s simply no escaping the weight of the evidence he puts forward.

Footage of the devastation in New Orleans may lead some to suggest this is a US reaction to an American problem (and they are among the biggest perpetrators), but Gore is careful to ensure that the planet isn’t overlooked.

He isn’t afraid to point the finger at his home country or, unsurprisingly, its current administration – but this documentary never becomes a one-made piece of propaganda in the same way that Michael Moore’s films can become.

Rather, it is a timely wake-up call to remind us that we can all do something to help – for if we allow the alarm to sound, the results will be devastating.

Hence, we’re shown photographic evidence of lakes that have all but dried up, glaciers in decline and the melting of the Poles.

Using projections based on the advice of the world’s top scientists, we can also see the predicted changes evolve – sea levels rising in line with temperatures to create wholesale changes to the world as we know it.

Did you know, for instance, that there have been cases of polar bears drowning because of the distances they are having to swim to find ice?

Did you also know that one of President Bush’s environmental advisers later went on to secure a prominent job at a fuel company?

Gore’s approach is a clever one – it doesn’t rely on heavy-handed preaching or scare-mongering, but rather intelligence, charm and wit.

The message remains loud and clear, however – that global warming has become a potentially catastrophic problem and ignoring the issue can only lead to one grim certainty.

Go see the film and find out for yourself. It’s one of the year’s most interesting – and essential – documentaries.

Read our interview with Al Gore

Certificate: U
Running time: 100mins