Writer: Nor Inayah AriffinWriter Ratings:Overall: Cast: Plot: Effects:
NACinematography: Watch this if you liked:
"An Inconvenient Truth" and "Who Killed The Electric Car?"
Funnily enough, "The 11th Hour" nearly never saw the light of day locally for the very reason the film itself claims global warming has become an urgent issue: money.
"The 11th Hour" spent months and months in the 'coming soon' phase before being mercilessly scrapped from the list altogether, but luckily, Malaysians will still be able to watch it for free at the Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre from 30 April to 4 May.
It is seriously a shame that this film isn't going to be released in Malaysian cinemas to maximise its reach. As a developing nation, we have always looked to the West for inspiration and guidance to achieve that coveted "first-world" status, and yet, here is a film showing us that they (mainly the U.S.) have been wrong, wrong, wrong, and are in fact the biggest polluters and producers of waste on earth.
How many times have we read the papers and heard about excessive loggings and the draining of vital wetlands for the sake of development? "The 11th Hour" can show you where we are headed if we keep this up. It's bad enough that we have flash floods that take lives time and again. Just think about Hurricane Katrina: it was a disaster that had such a huge impact on America, a country a hundred times the size of Malaysia. Imagine if a disaster of the same scale were to strike us? It wouldn't matter if you were the richest Malaysian - money won't save you.
This is also the message that "11th Hour" conveys. It advocates weaning ourselves off "dirty" fossil fuels and moving on to cleaner energy, and makes a point about how the government moves at a plodding pace when it comes to this issue because it answers to a higher power: the ultra-rich oil companies like Exxon Mobil, who are worth billions of U.S. dollars.
The film reminds us that as humans, we are still of nature, not separate from it: a simple, yet poignant message that really hits home. Humans have thought of themselves as kings of the world, but truly, we aren't, and the film illustrates the damaging effect of such an attitude. Nature has been wrongly turned into property that can be bought, sold, traded, carved up, and ultimately, destroyed.
Despite the title, "The 11th Hour" is not a campaign of scare-tactics. Like Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth", this film showcases solutions to the problems we face today, some of which have already been proven successful. It displays the belief that the best way to go about healing the earth is simply to follow nature's way. Frugality is also discussed as a means to curb wastage and promote a healthy environment and it is emphasised that 'frugal' does NOT mean 'poverty', just a less wasteful way of living, which many of us Malaysians seem to be unfamiliar with.
Still, the film is not quite as entertaining as Gore's Oscar-winning effort, with a lot of talking heads on the screen telling us environmental horror stories for the first half of the film mixed in with footage from recent 'natural' disasters. Also, the cinematography is nothing spectacular and as a documentary fan, this isn't the best I've seen. However, the second half of the film is more upbeat and interesting, and offers viewers food for thought regarding the issue. After watching it, I was buzzing with ideas on how to implement some of the solutions offered in the film.
It would do everyone, and not just us Malaysians, a whole lot of good to see this film and think about how we can improve the quality of the environment and thus, the quality of our lives, which is infinitely more important than making a quick buck and contributing to the deterioration of our only home planet, Earth.Cinema Online, 23 September 2008