An Inconvenient Truth
A Review by Misael Soto
Although I don't believe it to be a great work of cinema, I do believe it gets its points across with conviction and real power; definitely a film to be seen now before it's too late. That is until a better film tackling the important topic is made ("The Day After Tomorrow," perhaps?).
As you might already be aware, An Inconvenient Truth has director Davis Guggenheim and Al Gore taking on the ever important issue of global warming. This is a very real issue that is affecting all of us ever more rapidly, as the film makes crystal clear. The film's strengths, I believe, come from this clarity. Gore's presentation is a bucket of water poured over the head of anyone sleeping over the issue.
In between scenes of his actual presentation, which by itself would only take us about thirty to forty minutes to watch, we get a lesson on none other than Al Gore. From his childhood raised on a tobacco farm to the 2000 presidential election, his life is cut and sliced into convenient segments in an attempt to get us to go beyond listening to his message; Guggenheim wants us to believe him. These portions of the film in between Gore's presentation, with lots of anecdotes and facts from his past, don't all work and simply feel like filler most of the time; placed in the film simply to make a feature length documentary out of what is essentially the best PowerPoint presentation ever made. Even still, by the end of the film I found myself genuinely "believing"in Gore's cause. Not only are the facts and figures undeniable, but Gore's enthusiasm is contagious and makes for a double-blow that proves greatly effective.
Al Gore, although somewhat dry and even boring at times, truly has a passion for, and believes in the cause of fighting global warming. What in the beginning seems to be a "Gore in '08" propaganda-vehicle turns into a somewhat genuine, at times emotionally, moving portrait of one man's determined fight to get people to wake up and change not only their lives, but also the lives of future generations.
The questions I brought up in the first paragraph came to mind when it came time to give this film a final rating. I believe the film's message, particularly in today's politics and social scene, is far too important to be ignored, no matter how poorly executed cinematically it may be. I was able to look past its numerous, yet ultimately frivolous flaws and focus on its raw, central purpose. Does one view and analyze documentaries by different criterion than traditional fictional films? The answer is a resounding yes. In other words, go see this film. It's not meant to entertain; it's meant to be a catalyst and a conversation starter. Might it be the beginning of a revolution? Only time will tell.