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An Inconvenient Truth /

Rated: PG

Starring: Al Gore

Directed by: Davis Guggenheim

Produced by: Jeff Skoll, Davis Guggenheim, Diane Weyermann

Distributor: Paramount Vantage


Al Gore in Paramount Classics' An Inconvenient Truth
Kilimanjaro in 2005 Paramount Classic's An Inconvenient Truth
Former vice president Al Gore in Paramount Classic's An Inconvenient Truth

     Perhaps devote fans of Al Gore could make a case against my point-of-view, but An Inconvenient Truth smells strongly to me of a commercial-attempt to build sentiment towards a “Gore in 2008” Run for President. While this didn’t affect my opinion of the film, per se, it certainly made me question the motivations behind the production. If Gore was really, truly always passionate about Global Warming, the subject which An Inconvenient Truth treats him as an expert on, then why didn’t he bring it to the forefront of debate in his attempt to win the 2000 Presidential Election? Having this in mind while watching the film, I became slightly cynical in accepting Gore’s argument as a long-time one-man-battle rather than a clever mark of paroxysm. Regardless, I found passages of the documentary to be fascinating.


     Much of An Inconvenient Truth’s effectiveness is a result of its straightforward presentation. The majority of the film’s duration consists of footage of Gore giving a presentation about Global Warming’s consequences on the Earth. He claims to have given the presentation “at least 1,000 times” and certainly has it down to a science. In fact, I found much of the raw data featured in it to be highly jarring. Gore’s argument that there is detrimental global warming rapidly occurring on Earth and that scientists are in universal agreement regarding such will win all but the most naïve of viewers over. However, the case he makes for human activity causing the bulk of this problem is far easier to poke holes in. Gore’s presentation includes charts which claim that the Earth is now hotter than it ever was leading up to previous Ice-Ages, but I question whether or not this is valid proof that humans are causing the temperature-increase. Gore supports his argument by claiming the increase has been directly caused by an exponential growth of carbon emitted by the world, particularly the huge amount of such that the United States is responsible for. However, he makes no mention of the fact that, in the last fifty years, other types of equally-pertinent chemical-emissions have reached record-lows due to new technologies developed by modern-science. An Inconvenient Truth doesn’t claim to be a two-sided look at its subject of focus, but it can certainly be faulted for straying from addressing the arguments against the points that claims to prove.


     I was also slightly irritated by the amateurishness of the techniques that director Davis Guggenheim employs to adapt Gore’s presentation into a feature-length film. In attempts to spice the material up, Guggenheim intersperses staged bits of Gore researching global-warming on the internet (some last so long that I am tempted to dub it A Man and His Macintosh: The Al Gore Story), taking “important phone calls” related to the subject, and commenting on how different moments in his life have put the issue into perspective for him. These bits come off as canned and cheesy; Gore’s actual presentation is polished enough that it would have been more cinematic without being accompanied by such excess. Whether I bought into his claim that human activity is causing the majority global warming, the politician’s depiction of its effects on my planet never ceased to bewitch me.


     Despite Gore’s claim in An Inconvenient Truth that passing legislation (such as the glamorized Kyoto Protocol) to decelerate the process of global warming is more of a moral than a political issue, it is undeniable that the movie was made with campaigning in mind. Nevertheless, Gore both presents involving information and raises several provocative questions in the film. Would tighter energy and emission regulations actually stimulate the economy rather than hinder businesses’ production levels? How much of the United States’ political-system should take scientific research into consideration? Because of its mere ability to encourage people to become involved in their government—although its clear political bias certainly doesn’t help this ability—I wholeheartedly recommend An Inconvenient Truth to the Mass Public.


-Danny, Bucket Reviews (6.23.2006)

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