The 11th Hour **
Directed by Nadia Conners and Leila Conners Petersen
Narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio
91 Minutes(Rated PG for some mild disturbing images and thematic elements. )
Well, it is yet another week and we are "treated" to yet another documentary telling us about the dangers of global warming. And during this quick and unneeded documentary, I was struck with a few thoughts.
1) Perhaps if I haven't seen "Arctic Tale" I may have gotten some needed information from this.
2) Perhaps if I haven't seen "An Inconvenient Truth," I may have gotten some needed information from this and enjoyment from "Arctic Tale."
At this point, I feel like I've seen the same different documentary many times over, and I do not know how many more times I can stand a documentary about global warming. And while "An Inconvenient Truth" did it in a rather formal matter-literally as it was like watching a presentation-"Arctic Tale" tries to do it with cute and cuddly animals, and "The 11th Hour" shows a couple of disturbing images, just to plant these thoughts into your heads. I am just plain tired of seeing these types of documentaries-these documentaries that tell me the same risks, the same ways that I can prevent the dangers, and the same message, how we all need to accept that we are all part of the problem but we can still change things as a group. And how did this possibly get a significant release from a big company when its pretty much the same thing once again-well, a big name helps!
Instead of the Al Gore show, we get the Leonardo DiCaprio show, who barely does any narration and hands most of the scientific fact scenes to talking head images of Stephen Hawkings, and other scientists that I honestly do not know much about. And maybe if I was not tired of the global warming warnings, and the repeated facts and repeated evidence and repeated patterns that all of these films seem to get their hands on, this may have been interesting fare. While the information was presented in a more urgent and "in your face" kind of way, as opposed to Gore's presentation where he found a way to appeal to people of all ages-through humor and a more likable nature. DiCaprio clearly does care about the environment and the issue, but he looks like he's reading a card off screen instead of actually knowing all the information. And he is resorted to looking outside of a moving car window often, pondering the environment as they drive past forests and other wildlife areas.
So I guess in the end the two star rating for "The 11th Hour" seems like the most fair thing I can do. On one side, I do believe that global warming is real, and I find nothing in all the evidence that shows it can't be true. The signs are there, and I accept all of the things that we all need to do, as one, to prevent it from happening or from at least prolonging it for longer than it is needed. My own viewpoint aside, perhaps this is a good documentary to see if you haven't already seen one of the many other global warming warning docs around. I personally do recommend "An Inconvenient Truth" at least once, as it is both informative and highly enjoyable. But considering this provides much of the same information with just different faces, and the same warnings, it just isn't needed. So its informative unless you already know, which then it is just there.
"The 11th Hour" opens on August 17th in limited release-in New York I know that you'll be able to find it at the Landmark Sunshine Cinemas. I saw it at a pre-opening screening at the Walter Reade in Lincoln Center where a few of the scientists were in attendance and did a brief questions and answers after the screening which I did not watch because I had other matters to attend to. Unless you feel super passionately about the issue and wish to give as much money to it as possible, or know nothing about global warming and its warnings, see the film. If you already have some kind of understanding to the issue and have seen a previous documentary on the subject, skip it and see 'The King of Kong" that weekend.