Leonardo interviews such notable world leaders as Pope Francis, Barack Obama, an economist, and leading scientists among others. He travels to India, China, Greenland, Kiribati (a group of islands in the South Pacific), Indonesia, and the Arctic. His concern: global climate change. Although he frequently refers to it as global warming, I prefer the former title for what is occurring at a more and more rapid rate due to overpopulation and lack of foresight in controlling where humans get their energy.
The fossil fuel industry is looked at, as is newer technologies of solar and wind. The drastic crises of those less privileged populations, the poor in India, those living on islands in the oceans, and even Americans, the streets of Miami flooding regularly, are highlighted. He admits his carbon footprint is bigger than it could be, and in the film talks about what is necessary for us to care for the planet and life on earth.
The film begins with a graphic of the famous Hieronymus Bosch painting, Paradise, Garden of Earthly Delights, and Hell, that I discussed in my recent review about Bosch a few weeks ago. Leo grew up with this image gracing the wall of his childhood room and was fascinated by the depictions. He does a great job of pulling the meaning out of this Medieval work of art and applying its message to the present.
I found this documentary to be easy to watch in that it held my rapt attention, but hard to hear the harsh reality of our situation on planet Earth, our only home. Whereas the solutions Al Gore promoted in his documentary An Inconvenient Truth in 2006 were more personal, the recommendations this film makes are more focused on legislation and changes to how corporations are taxed, particularly for the carbon footprint left behind. Action must be taken to influence the policy makers in governments around the world, and America should be setting an example for the more impoverished countries.
Before the Flood is rated PG for thematic elements, some nude and suggestive art images, language and brief smoking. This film will help wrap your mind around the reality of global climate change as it takes you from the abstract to the concrete. I welcome comments about this film in my blog comments section. What will each of us do to turn things around? It’s not too late, if we begin today.