Lately it seems every time there is a movie I am intersted in seeing, Dave Lee from MKE sends out an open e-mail looking for weekly Threeview participants for that very movie. A few weeks ago I was very excited to get to see The DaVinci Code for free, but that was a huge disappointment. Before that were Dave Chappelle's Block Party, Thank You For Smoking, and Brokeback Mountain. I had already heard mostly good reviews for Al Gore's global warming documentary An Inconvenient Truth when I got my email the other day.
I saw it last night at the lonely 9:25 show at South Shore Cinema, sharing the theater with just one other viewer, but really, who goes to see a documentary on global warming in Oak Creek at 9:30 on a Thursday anyway? The film flips between a video of Gore showing his environmental slide show in front what looks like an Ivy League college lecture and movies, photographs and bits of Gore in real life. We see pieces of his childhood, his college years at Harvard, early political activity and of course, the scenes of the Supreme Court, hanging chads and grave disappointment in 2000.
Gore credits a Harvard professor who researched Carbon Dioxide levels in the 70s with his later fervor for things environmental. He explains his confidence in his early political career that the Senate would react to scientists warning that the earth was becoming alarmingly warmer much faster, and great frustration and disappointment when nothing happened. Gore is personable, a lot greyer and chubbier than his 2000 self, self-deprecating, well-spoken and occasionally charismatic. He reveals himself in front of the camera to a degree few of us ever see of a candidate during a presidential campaign. His at-times goofy jokes generally add to his likeabiliy. This film made me think that all presidential candidates should make full-length features, documentaries about their lives and what they care about, and they should be played over and over again on network television before the elections. At least then we might have some sense of the person behind the rhetoric before choosing a president.
But beside that point is the plethora of shocking science in this film. In fact, I really think everyone should see it. Even if you are a middle-aged near-retirement conservative who loves Fox News and Bill O'Reilly, you should see this film. In fact, if you are that person, I will buy you a ticket to see this film. Here's the thing, this isn't a political issue, and despite a few minor knocks at Bush, Gore keeps this whole thing fairly non-partisan. He's clearly just as frustrated with the whole of the Congress, not just the Republicans who have ignored this problem, but also the Democrats. There is information that is pretty difficult for even the most skeptical person to deny, and he solidly takes on the thinking that global warming is some sort of scheme put together by liberals. What is clear is that business in America (and abroad clearly) has not taken a responsible stance on this issue. While Gore doesn't point fingers at any one nation, political party or industry, he does discuss the worldwide changes that have resulted from our rapid industrialization, population growth and dirty technologies.
I'm not sure I want to get into discussing the science from the movie here, but it can all be found at http://www.climatecrisis.net. Needless to say, I was convinced.