CLIMATE OF CHANGE - Tribeca Film On DemandApril 28, 2010
The 2010 Tribeca Film Festival has begun in New York City. New this year is a selection of films available to watch the same day on VOD.
On Demand Weekly provides new movie reviews of hot movies on demand from the POV of watching from the comfort of your home. Today’s review: Climate of Change.
For those with Al Gore anxiety, fear not. Climate of Change is not a list of statistics, well, not all together at once. It is though, still a film about bold people with strong opinions and big hearts standing up and admirably doing what they feel is right. The twist is that we get these perspectives from places we don’t expect – and by that I mean not only from (most likely rich) white people. We are treated to a diverse set of cultures and environments that include Mumbai, New Guinea, Appalachia, West Virginia, London, with even a (too-brief) glimpse into the Arctic “Doomsday Vault.”
Directed with sumptuous beauty by BAFTA-winning director Brian Hill, Climate is glued together by a poetic script by Simon Armitage (the “millennium poet” for Britain in 2000) and narrated steadily (and at times repetitively) by Tilda Swinton.
What will blow your mind in the opening scenes (and they were incredibly wise to start on this footage) is the stunning intelligence and eloquence, not to mention devoted nature of the first interviewees: Indian schoolchildren who have created an environmental protection group called “Tarumitra,” The poetic narration stuff can get old (you might find yourself missing those facts and figures a little), but I could marvel endlessly at these kids (my jaw is going slack just recalling their loquacity).
These children, focusing on recycling and warning the masses about burning non-biodegradable plastics, are intercut with other subjects in the movie, including an educator in New Guinea who spreads the word to schools and villages about the importance of keeping their trees instead of being “blinded by money” from the timber lobbyists; a lone man holding onto his little hill in Appalachia in the midst of the scourge of mountain top removal by coal mining corporations; average citizens petitioning government to help rid their streams of poisons and a woman living a green lifestyle in a more familiar (but less interesting) setting, the UK.
The film offers up some facts but doesn’t get into the nitty gritty of how stopping a logging industry (for example) might affect the world economy. Instead, it mainly serves as a point of inspiration, focusing on people, some in below poverty-level scenarios, performing with dignity, even the smallest acts to do their part in protecting mother Earth. Seemingly, a non-verbal point is raised: Who are the opponents to stopping or reversing these current, devastating practices harming the environment, because this surely affects every person alive, right?
A sufficient summation comes from one of the bright-as-the-sun Indian children when he says “We are the renters of this world, we are not it’s masters. Anything else?”
Watch it on demand or at Tribeca (you might even refuse your swag bag on the way out.)
Sean McPhillips is a contributing writer to On Demand Weekly. He is a former vice president of acquisitions for Miramax Films (During Harvey's reign). He is a current writer/director for NY-based Secret Hideout Films. as well as Festival Coordinator, Programmer for the brand new Gold Coast Film Festival (to make its debut in June, 2011)
Climate of Change On Demand
Available until 6/16/10
$6.99 /Rated TV G / 85 min
Read Sean's review of Metropia