Stars: *** 1/2
Rating: PG for mature themes
Run Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes
Director David Guggenheim hits a nerve in this searing documentary about the frightening state of global warming and the harsh reality of Earth’s questionable future.
Former Vice President Al Gore didn’t just sit on his thumbs when the 2000 election didn’t go his way. His controversial defeat and a sobering family emergency was the wake up call Gore needed to pour his turbulent emotions into a fiery traveling road-show focused on a calamitous planetary emergency.
The facts are startling. In less than a decade there will be no more snows of Kilimanjaro to soothe the soul and our frosty glaciers will have dwindled to mere puddles. Tornadoes and torrential flooding will continue to peak at a devastating rate – Katrina was just a warm-up.
Unrestricted fossil fuel burning may be the culprit but Gore puts a personal spin on his message: it’s deeply unethical of us to let our planet slip through our fingers.
Our rapidly changing ecosystem and the onset of thirty new diseases in the last quarter century are just a couple of the revealing facts that Gore has at his fingertips, doling out information with moral, not political, zeal. The occasional dry spot pertaining to charts, numbers and contrived humor is lost in Gore’s persistent wizardry as he pulls edifying rabbits out of hats right and left.
The truth hurts when it comes to global warming but Guggenheim has an equally important and inconvenient truth up his sleeve: Al Gore has charisma; truckloads of it. Passionate and world-weary, Gore works a room with multi-media splendor, nary a missed beat in his quest to gather momentum on the moral imperatives to making big changes. We missed the boat and neither director nor star is going to let us forget it.
Are we living in an era of consequences? Political will is a renewable resource; we cannot continue the mindless patterns of our past if we are going to rise up and secure our future.
Illuminating and distressing, “Truth” is a grave message indeed.