Gore's Inconvenient Truth "stunning"
By Joe Kirkish
HOUGHTON -- An Inconvenient Truth (Rated PG for some thematic elements): Had Al Gore been as persuasive, entertaining and logical in his bid for election, he would surely have replaced the royal personage now in the White Palace and we surely would have been living a safer, healthier life for it.
(Sorry for the dig, but unless you think the Fox Broadcasting System is God's only word, you might understand and forgive.)
A more portly, mature, sincere and carefully clarifying Gore opens the film (after a lyrical glance at a sylvan paradise and comment about the world of nature as we know and enjoy it) with the self-defacing introduction: "I'm Al Gore. I used to be the next president of the United States."
Laughter from his audience, one group of thousands around the world to which Gore has presented his message on the time bomb that threatens with global warming. Though the film is meant to be a thoughtful, earnest documentary, it is peppered with enough variety to hold a movie audience's interest, using humor, animated cartoons, cutaways to comments by financial and political figures (sometimes one and the same), statistical charts and references to scientific facts (some new, some already known). We also follow him from airport to airport with his softly stated comments in voice-over that flesh out and further his arguments with startling clarity.
His material has been carefully selected to wreak emotions, logical understanding and a move to action -- in as well stated an argument as has ever been presented on the subject in less than a couple hours.
Delivering his material in a sure, dramatic manner, Gore reveals incontestable visual and statistical facts about conditions worsening around our globe, even at the poles; he
builds his argument, first, against the "scientific" pronouncement that this is just another dip in the weather's roller coaster ride through history (using the parallel of what the tobacco lobby once insisted about the lack of danger in smoking) and, second, debunking the argument that choosing to save the environment is tantamount to destroying the economy. He concludes with encouragement to reverse the current trend, even against the contemporary political momentum to the contrary.
"Political will," he says, "is a reversible resource." The audience he speaks to in the film, as well as in the theatre audience, applauds.
Is he sincere in his concerns? Obviously. Is he still hoping to impress us for a return to the political candidacy as next president? Not so subtly, seems so. Could he succeed? Well, certainly in the first instance.
Politics aside, Gore, unlike Cassandra, presents a powerful case that just might be heard in time to make a global reversal. The message is the medium, and the medium is right for today's visually oriented audiences. If this doesn't start the ball rolling in the right direction, nothing will.
This review may be lugubrious, but the stunning movie is not! Everyone should run, not walk, to the nearest theatre showing it.
Author's note: This film is planned to show in a limited engagement,
at 7 p.m. and at 9 p.m., through Thursday, Aug. 31, at the Lode in Houghton.
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