Before the Flood (2016)

12 Jul

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Unless you have been living under a rock for the last decade, or have willfully tuned out of the news Before the Flood probably wont advance your understanding of climate change and the issues which underpin it in modern times.

The documentary follows Leonardo DiCaprio, newly minted as a UN messenger of peace for climate change, as he traverses the globe meeting with climate experts and politicians, exploring the effects of pollution and deforestation. His aims are admirable, we are on the cusp of a global disaster, and using his star power to shine a light on this issue shows a depth of character not usually associated with Hollywood.

Leo makes a charming, and clearly very impassioned host, and Before the Flood has a stellar line up of guests including Barack Obama, Pope Francis, and stand out climate activist Sunita Narain. But with all these wonderful minds there is no doubt Before the Flood could have gone so much further in lifting the lid on the greatest crisis of our time.

The documentary alludes to the statistics and proofs of its claims, but it would have been so much more powerful to have seen these measures laid bare and examined in order to help ordinary viewers, like myself, gain an even better understanding of the scope and scale of what we are facing.

In all, Before the Flood makes for a watchable entry point into the topic of climate change, but misses key opportunities to unpack such a complex topic.




*Fun fact, look out for Helen Clark snubbing Leo in favour of her smartphone, not once, but three times, including during his speech; and John Key sweatily looking for the nearest three-way handshake.


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