Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Movie Review: "Before the Flood" (2016)

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Movie"Before the Flood"
Director: Fisher Stevens
Year: 2016
Rating: PG
Running Time: 1 hour, 36 minutes

Actor and activist Leonardo DiCaprio has meetings with scientists, inventors, and world leaders to promote discussions and come up with solutions regarding the issue of global climate change.

"Before the Flood" is a documentary directed by Fisher Stevens and is written by Mark Monroe, who is know for numerous other documentaries, including the Oscar winning "The Cove," as well "Chasing Ice" and "Racing Extinction." Needless to say, Mark Monroe is no stranger to environmental activism in documentaries. The film stars Leonardo DiCaprio, who also partially produced the film, as he goes from country to country interviewing scientists, innovators, and politicians to find out about what people can do about important issue of climate change.

Some may call this documentary a little heavy handed and there is no doubt that it is. Maybe it's time to be heavy handed. There still seems to be this perpetuation that climate change is a myth. It is not. This is not opinion, this is fact. Climate change is happening and at a very rapid rate. The ice caps are melting and there are massive droughts all over the world. This documentary, like many others on the subject, lets people know there is no debate in the scientific community about this phenomenon or its causes. The consensus is in. Those who deny climate change are simply being willfully ignorant. The solution doesn't just rely on scientists. It depends on politicians, corporations, and the economy. At this point, many are still willing to sacrifice our planet's long term future for short term financial gains. Unfortunately, real change is being held back by how inexpensive fossil fuels are, especially in developing countries like India. All of this is covered thoroughly here, and we get a real sense at the obstacles that are blocking real reforms.

Some may call Leonardo DiCaprio a hypocrite for talking about climate change while his carbon footprint is much more substantial and is much bigger than the average American's. He readily admits this is true, but he has taken steps to ensure he's doing what he can wherever he can, like driving a hybrid car. Hey, it's a start. Even though his carbon footprint is massive, it doesn't hurt the whole message, but we are simply pointing out this ad hominem so viewers will get over it and watch this film. Come on, celebrities are people with the right to participate in the narrative and vote, too!

"Before the Flood" is an intriguing, powerful, and engaging documentary that will hopefully open some people's eyes, though it may just wind up preaching to the choir. It is a bit heavy-handed, and though we have heard this message before, we were still able to learn something new. Hopefully you can, too.

My Rating: 7/10
BigJ's Rating: 7/10
IMDB's Rating: 8.4/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 70%
Do we recommend this movie: Sure, why not?

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