This movie was given to me by a client. He received a few copies of the movie gratis from a friend and thought it a good idea to pass those copies along. Unfortunately, it took me a while to get around to watching this movie and frankly, there is nothing ground-breaking about The 11th Hour.
First of all, this is actually a documentary so calling it a movie is really not correct. And as a documentary I found it more alarmist than anything else. The visuals used to augment the information that the speakers are giving the viewers are skewed to show situations that frighten and alarm. I was sad to see this because instead of showing the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina when talking about global warming, I think showing more shots of melting mountain tops and glaciers breaking up would be more effective. The bulk of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina came from a bungled local and state government response as well as the levies breaking. But hey – I guess if you’re trying to sell your position you have to use the visuals that work.
Most of the information in the documentary is nothing new. Everyone knows that the human race has had an impact on the planet and that our waste products are negative to the environment. Thankfully, more people have become aware of this fact and are working voraciously to lower their personal imprints on the planet either through recycling more, using sustainable items, and working to conserve their use of resources. That’s all and great. But documentaries like The 11th Hour work against these positive trends by yelling that the sky is falling.
I admire Leonardo DiCaprio, the documentary’s narrator, but he should continue to be in the business of helping out the underprivileged by using his notoriety and money in conjunction with already established organizations. Going out and producing this documentary did not do much to help “turn the tide” in the battle against pollution. In fact, it might have hurt the progressing trend of environmental sustainability in some areas. For example, one commentator refers to the human race as a sickness on the planet earth; he talks about how we are creating a crust or a shell on the actual earth itself and we are poisoning it. Yeah…THAT’s how you rally support.
Another commentator says that the biggest weapon of mass destruction is the huge power amassed by corporations. In other words, corporations are the biggest weapons of mass destruction on the planet. Not only is this intellectually insulting, but the underlying meaning will be lost on most of the public due to the outrage associated with the comment. An unfortunate way to go about the business of changing minds.
It’s not that I didn’t like this documentary, but I thought that it did much less to advance environmentally friendly ideas than Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth. Plus, the documentary is more of a beginner’s guide to some of these issues than anything else. If you’re into alarmist documentaries or just looking into the whole environmentally sustainable issue, then you may want to look at this documentary if you have some time. If you don’t fall into one of those categories, don’t worry about seeing this one.