Winning the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature in 2007, Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth is a hugely entertaining look at the damaging effects of global warming and a call to arms to the world to sit up now and take notice before it is too late. That it is effectively a Powerpoint driven lecture put on film makes it all the more extraordinary that it can be so compelling for the entire 99 minute duration and indeed never does it seem to drag on or become dull.
As someone who first saw this documentary upon its release with absolutely no knowledge of the other side of the coin, I was mesmerized by what I saw and utterly appalled that some of the leaders of the world’s largest countries could be ignoring something that seemed so obviously to be in need of urgent attention. Having now researched the flip side (I highly recommend the book ‘State of Fear’ by Michael Crichton as a starting point) I have a balanced viewpoint on the matter and indeed am entirely sceptical about whether man-made global warming even exists.
If you watch this documentary you may think I have my head in the sand and indeed I was interested to see how it came across on a second viewing armed with a better understanding of the situation. I would say that I again found it to be very interesting and well put together, and that I came away from it thinking about the evidence presented which is ultimately the whole point of the lectures.
Despite being painted as a dullard in his presidential campaigns, Al Gore is actually a very compelling speaker and presents everything in a simple, effective way that everyone could appreciate. You can forgive him the one-sided yarn he spins since he is not trying to say “this might not really exist” and undermine himself as that would render the whole exercise pointless.
Do not necessarily think that this is simply a lecture filmed from a tripod at the rear of an auditorium somewhere – spliced in between the lecture portions are some asides about Gore himself which actually work well and do not come across as a self promotion show reel which could easily have happened. That Gore was the rightful winner of the 2004 US elections is not dwelled upon but is brought up in amusing ways a few times. Certainly after seeing this intelligent, charismatic guy educating the masses you appreciate more than ever that had Gore been rightfully sworn in, the US would most likely have a very different complexion today.