The 11th Hour Nadia Conners & Leila Conners Peterson

The 11th Hour Nadia Conners & Leila Conners Peterson
Where An Inconvenient Truth alarmed viewers with its mainstream global warming whistle blowing, The 11th Hour should rattle its audience to their cores. This Leonardo DiCaprio produced, narrated and co-written documentary cuts to the heart of our civilisation’s environmental degradation problem like no other film I’ve seen on the subject. Any cynics turned off by DiCaprio’s involvement should shuck their jaded crust and concentrate on the content. Leo and the directors have assembled an incredibly authoritative and eloquent panel of scientists and conservationists, along with spiritual and business leaders, to discuss the impact of human civilisation on its host environment, Earth. The film is constructed as a series of interviews with the panellists interspersed with, and punctuated by, powerfully juxtaposed images of breathtaking natural beauty and horrific scenes of human waste and destruction. It’s the sheer number and variety of vital thinkers being pressed for information and answers that gives The 11th Hour its heavyweight status amongst enviro docs. Canadian environmental superhero David Suzuki shares verbal space with Green Belt Movement founder Wangari Maathai and sustainable business visionary Ray Anderson. The traditional wisdom of Iroquois Chief Oren Lyons is used to provide a personalised context for the science of Stephen Hawking and the radical ingenuity of green business guru Paul Hawken, who was espousing the potential benefits of carbon taxes and laying out theoretical designs for ecologically-friendly commerce back in 1993. Where such harsh truth could easily become cripplingly depressing, the plethora of inspirational activists involved offer numerous possible solutions, both scientific and social, which are readily available but require adequate leadership to be embraced and invested in. Instead of regular special features, The 11th Hour includes extended discussions on solutions to the environmental crisis from a number of perspectives, from Biomimicry (meaning nature as model, measure and mentor) to the religious consideration of humanity’s responsibility as integrated members of a complex ecosystem. For anyone with even a passing concern for the future of the human species on planet Earth, The 11th Hour and its continually evolving companion website, www.11thhouraction.com, might be the swift kick many people need to begin weaning from the habitual consumption driving our ecological devastation. (Metropolis)