A New Genre: The Horror-Documentary
An Inconvenient Truth by former presidential nominee Al Gore is his attempt at telling the world that they should be concerned about the state of the planet. Through first-hand research, graphs, diagrams, scientific data, and all, Al Gore boldly shows how our home planet is dying and on course for a tumultuous future if things should continue on the path they are projected to. Upon starting the film I had no idea what I had gotten myself into. I had no idea by the end of the film I would be scared and worried about the future of my life as well as the future wellbeing of my own planet. All of this is thanks to the hard work and dedication that Al Gore put into making this eye-opening film.
The film opens softly with simple piano in the background, the narrator who we don't know is Al Gore yet, asks us to listen. He asks us to listen and notice specific things: leaves rustling, a cow mooing, frogs ribbiting. Gore asks us to remember these various sounds from our calm and peaceful world because he knows how easily they can be forgotten. Al Gore knows that hearing the facts about climate change, global warming, and changing temperatures won't change peoples minds. Instead, Al Gore attempts to show firsthand what exactly it is that is being affected by climate change so the viewer can begin to understand and predict how this changing climate will soon be affecting areas of our own lives.
Throughout the film Al Gore walks the camera through various areas where climate change has greatly affected the land, this proves to the viewer that this phenomenon that many people dispute, cannot be fake. One way that the danger of climate change is driven so close to home is in the constant behind the scenes footage that he chooses to include in the documentary. Including these clips of Al Gore working on his PowerPoint presentation and creating graphs gives his research an added bit of genuineness. The audience for this film can see first hand that this data and research is not being explained by some scientists in lab coats off-screen but rather it is being done by a former presidential elect and a trusted household name. The credibility of Al Gore can be felt throughout the film. Al Gore has a presence that is hard to define but very evident in the film. The viewer can tell that Al Gore is serious about his work and concerned about the state of the planet, he is not simply putting on a facade for the camera. When Al Gore is seen speaking to the scientists he is completely focused and able to comprehend every bit of scientific jargon they speak. This aspect of the film elevates its credibility because in discussing a topic such as climate change, the person convincing the population should be as credible as possible in order to adequately progress the point across of climate change and its dangers.
Overall An Inconvenient Truth does a great job at providing the audience with examples of the very real dangers of climate change that are affecting the earth. If there is an area that could be improved on in this film it's the scenes where Al Gore talks about his family's history and the hardships he has personally endured. I felt these scenes were out of place in comparison to the climate change that had been the center focus of the entire film. I think Al Gore included these stories from his childhood because it gave the viewer an insight into his life when he isn't on the political stage. While I appreciate his attempt to connect with the audience, to me it seemed clumsy and actually made me feel a little more disconnected from him. Besides that, his examples of climate change hit very close to home because Al Gore presents them this way. Al Gore utilizes shock value and scare tactics to adequately show the dangers of climate change and it works. One of the most memorable scenes from the documentary is when Al Gore needs to bring in an industrial size construction lift to reach the top of one of his graphs because the trend he is predicting has literally gone "off the charts". This scene and many like it truly gives the viewer an idea of just how outrageous our climate has gotten. One thing that Al Gore continues to do which is very useful in understanding this complex topic is he continually shows pictures and videos that compare our current state of climate with that of twenty or thirty years ago. In every photo, where there used to be a large glacier of ice or a big lake of water, now sits either an alarming less amount of ice then the past photo, or the lake he showed will be incredibly more dried out and empty. No matter what aspect of the climate Al Gore is discussing, you can bet that the props and data he uses will be very telling of just how outrageous our current situation has gotten. Because this film purposely shows what it aimed to, I am going to give it a 4.5 out of 5 stars.