DVD Wholesale Quick Overview:
In 2006, in “An Inconvenient Truth,” Al Gore presented persuasive and compelling analyses of climate data to combat apathy about global climate change. It attracted much attention; and yet, a criticism of that presentation was that it depended largely on trends represented in PowerPoint graphs. Those who are unable to interpret and/or are skeptical of statistics and trend data tended to dismiss Gore’s message.
Half a generation later, disturbing and disrupting evidences of climate change already are widely apparent–it is abundantly clear that humans have changed climate to a degree that the effects cannot be reversed during our lifetimes or for generations to come. Worse, the pace of change appears to be quickening exponentially. It is spinning out of control.
“Before the Flood” drives Gore’s message home by introducing real-life video of several of the problems Gore warned about–problems that are occurring now. In addition to the flooding of Miami’s streets and the wholesale displacement of peoples who have lived in low-lying areas for centuries, the film heightens our awareness of less visible, but equally terrifying, changes in progress: the continuing destruction of boreal forests and thawing of the tundra worldwide, and the unbelievable amount of melting that is occurring among the world’s gigantic heat reflectors that have kept our climate relatively stable–the ice caps and glaciation of extensive areas such as Greenland. The extent of the damage caused by clear-cutting and fossil fuel extraction–especially tar sands and strip-mining of coal–is shocking. By showing the concerns of national leaders worldwide, the film also shows how backward much of the USA is in acknowledging the reality of climate change and accepting responsibility for it. A disquieting thought is that the refugee problems of today will seem insignificant as compared to the massive displacements that will be caused by flooding and other climate-caused changes. We really are the odd country out.
To cover the extensive content and keep the pace going, the film resorts to fast cuts throughout. Yet we did not feel rushed–it was an artful handling of ground that had to be covered. Although Gore’s message was valid and turned many heads ten years ago, the images in “Before the Flood” will remain fixed in your mind indefinitely.
It is a masterfully done message that everyone needs to view.
I love the first-person journey this film takes, through the eyes/ears of an open mind (DiCaprio), who humbly admits that the more he knows, the more he realizes he doesn’t know regarding the complexity of how an entire culture awakens and responds to such a call. And yet the evidence and the science is clearly there, amassing more each day, as the film depicts. Most of all this film struck a very sad chord in me–sadness for what we’ve already lost and for all that we will likely lose over the next several decades, never mind the social chaos and destruction that may follow.
I can’t say I feel optimistic, but I cherished the interviews with those who still held such optimism for the fate of our planet, and for humankind. I loved DiCaprio’s heartfelt exchange with the Pope, and his honest interview with Indian activist Sunita Narain.
I disagreed when leaders insinuated that the masses (once educated) could turn the tide of political action. That might be true regarding social issues such as same-sex marriage, but much less so regarding economic issues. US politics/laws are inseparable from the financial backing of special-interests, particularly the fossil fuel lobby. And even if we managed to take the money out of politics, as DiCaprio intimated, the average American isn’t going to change their comfort level (i.e. energy consumption) to save anybody but themselves–this is the real tragedy of 21st century American individualism: we’ve dissociated from hundreds of thousands of years of awareness and wisdom regarding our inter-dependency with all life on the planet, and arrived at a place in which 99% of our being is consumed by a slice of life extending no further than our own back yards. No doubt this is what the politicians bank on!
Leonardo’s final speech was powerful–refusing to settle for simple lip-service, and calling politicians and citizens alike to step up and take action. I for one, felt inspired.
DVD Wholesale Main Features:
Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
Region: Region 1
Number of discs: 1
Rated: PG – Parental Guidance Suggested
Studio: 20th Century Fox
DVD Release Date: April 18, 2017
Run Time: 96 minutes