Movie Details

The 11TH HOUR

"The 11th Hour" describes the last moment when change is possible. The film explores how humanity has arrived at this moment - how we live, how we impact the earth`s ecosystems, and what we can do to change our course. The film features dialogue with experts from all over the world, including former Soviet Prime Minister Mikhail Gorbachev, renowned scientists Stephen Hawking, former head of the CIA James Woolsey, and sustainable design experts William McDonough and Bruce Mau in addition to more that 50 leading scientists, thinkers and leaders who present the facts and discuss the most important issue that face our planet.

Language: English
Subtitle: NA
Classification: PG
Release Date: 1 Nov 2007
Genre: Documentary
Running Time: 1 Hour 33 Minutes
Distributor: WARNER BROS
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Format: NA

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Review
Writer: Nor Inayah Ariffin

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Effects: NA
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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
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Classification
Effective 15 July 2011
G - Suitable for all ages
PG - Suitable for all ages, but parents should provide guidance to their young
PG13 - Suitable for persons aged 13 and above, but parental guidance is advised for children below 13
NC16 - Suitable for persons aged 16 years and above
M18 - Suitable for persons aged 18 years and above
R21 - Restricted to persons aged 21 and above only