An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power – movie review

by James Robins / 31 August, 2017
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Al Gore: another revolutionary rallying cry that follows An Inconvenient Truth.

An Inconvenient Truth was a bold, galvanising force. Not so its sequel.

Two years ago, Pakistan recorded its hottest temperatures in three decades. About 1300 people died. Last year, people dug mass graves in case the toll rose higher. It will probably be worse in the future. Such is the grim reality of a climate increasingly warmed by humanity’s own activity.

Urgent action is needed to at least ease the rate at which our planet is being slow-cooked to death. What we do not need is any time wasted on watching a marketing video for ex-US vice president Al Gore’s “Climate Reality Leadership Corps” dressed up as a revolutionary rallying cry.

There’s much to be said for the bold, galvanising force of An Inconvenient Truth, released 11 years ago. Its aptly titled sequel, on the other hand, seems like a few cold cuts and leftovers from the first picture, mingled with monsoon buckets of Gore-lauding self-aggrandisement.

Much time is spent watching Gore glower about his 2000 election defeat at the hands of the US Supreme Court. There’s a lengthy diversion about the November 2015 jihadi rampage in Paris, which gives the resident superhero a chance to make a teary speech. And if An Inconvenient Sequel is to be believed, Gore single-handedly saved the Paris Agreement from the coal-burning selfishness of the Indian Government.

What the documentary does not address is the following: the tactics employed by fossil-fuel companies and their political henchmen to deny the science of man-made climate change, or how to counter them; ideas and inspiration to aid working people in putting pressure on their elected officials to enact faster change; or indeed any advice on how to avoid the resource wars that will be our fate if we’re not hasty enough. Truth to power? We’re still all ears.

IN CINEMAS NOW

★★

This article was first published in the September 2, 2017 issue of the New Zealand Listener.

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