‘An Inconvenient Truth’ is an enlightening documentary about global warming based on the presentations of former vice-president Al Gore. Directed by Davis Guggenheim, the documentary captures Gore giving a talk and showing a powerful slide show on the beauty of the planet and the damage global warming is doing. In his presentation Mr. Gore uses lectures, pictures, cartoons, statistics and scientific facts to bolster his argument that industrialization and the unfettered use of fossil fuels has played a major role in exacerbating the problem of the catostrophic rise in the earth’s temperature.
The documentary does an excellent job of presenting Mr. Gore and his convictions in a plain and unadorned manner. You get the feeling Al Gore is speaking directly to you. While some may question his conclusions based on the available scientific facts, the documentary accurately portrays his passion on the topic of global warming. Mr. Gore opens the documentary with a humorous statement. ‘I am Al Gore. I used to be the next President of the United States’, he deadpans. He sprinkles other instances of humor throughout his presentation. The focus, however, is squarely on the seriousness of global warming and the role business, government and ordinary citizens have played in creating the problem and what they can do to begin to reverse its terrible impact.
In ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ Mr. Gore is shown making an impassioned plea for people to pay more attention to the disastrous situation they have deliberately or unwittingly helped to create. In the documentary Mr. Gore even singles himself out for criticism. He says, ‘I’ve been trying to tell this story for a long time and I feel as if I’ve failed to get the message across.’ The documentary offers him the opportunity to take his message and his persuasive arguments to a worldwide audience.
The format suits Mr. Gore perfectly. He appears relaxed in his professorial role and is easily able to engage the audience. In ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ Mr. Gore is not acting. The audience sees the real Al Gore in the element in which he is most comfortable. His impassioned plea stirs people to begin to change their consumption patterns and pressure governments and businesses the world over to pay attention to the issue of global warming. The documentary is at once general and personal as Mr. Gore intersperses scientific data with snippets from his own life story.
The documentary format is ideal for the topic. It shows Mr. Gore using charts, graphs, cartoons, beautiful photographs of the Earth taken from outer-space and photographs of places on the planet apparently directly affected by global warming. There are no pyrotechnics or appearances by famous actors in character. The documentary simply presents Al Gore making a presentation he has done over a thousand times. Yet Mr. Gore is as fervent as if it were his first time. You can sense his sincerity, authenticity and strong feelings on the issue whether or not you agree with his premise and his conclusions.
The film is 94 information-filled minutes long. For some the information presented is jarring. Others find it misleading. No matter which camp you fall into, ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ is a film which cannot be ignored. It has brought the issue of global warming front and center in the consciousness of millions of people worldwide. Al Gore, Laurie David, Davis Guggenheim, Lawrence Bender and the team which produced the documentary deserve a rousing round of applause and a hearty thank you. ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ is a triumph of film making and an invaluable addition to the movement to protect and save the planet.A Personal Review of An Inconvenient Truth Documentary,