Tag Archives: Cineaste

The 11th Hour

16 Mar

The 11th Hour (published in Cineaste Magazine Vol. XXXIII, No 1)


If An Inconvenient Truth was a somber, sentimental warning about global warming and the repercussions that mankind could face after years of wasteful living, then The 11th Hour is a town crier, ampped up and propelled by a visceral montage projecting the imminent apocalypse. As the film has it, it’s not only the eleventh hour on the timepiece of doom, but 11:59:59 p.m. The future is a non issue  Yet for all its fire-and-brimstone certainty, The 11th Hour ultimately blossoms into a twenty-first-century PSA of sorts, buoyed by hope and optimism, providing solutions and answers where An Inconvenient Truth never did.

To deliver the bad news, the filmmakers, Leila Conners Petersen and Nadia Conners (sisters), along with producer and de facto narrator/host, Leonardo DiCaprio, have assembled an impressive battery of talking heads. Most are scientists and doctors gleaned from the far reaches of their obscure fields, though some, such as physicist Steven Hawking—so commanding and enigmatic a presence in Errol Morris’s A Brief History of Time—and healthy-living guru Andrew Weil, are immediately recognizable. Also in the eclectic mix are some stark and surprising choices. Continue reading