Anthony's Film Review

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power (2017)

Al Gore's follow-up to his documentary on climate change continues to educate and inspire...

Back in 2006, An Inconvenient Truth featured Al Gore's informative lecture presentation on global warming and climate change. As a quick recap of the topic, global warming is the process by which the Earth's average temperature increases due to greater atmospheric concentrations of gases that hold in heat around the planet, with the burning of fossil fuels being a major cause of those increased "greenhouse gases." The higher amount of trapped heat causes water and air to heat up and rise faster, such that ocean and wind currents shift from their normal geographic patterns. As a result, moisture and heat carried through those currents travel to different places than usual. Normally wet places become drier, normally dry places become wetter, normally warm or hot places become cooler, and normally cool or cold places become warmer. Weather events that are familiar in certain areas may occur with much greater intensity, and weather events unfamiliar to certain areas may occur like never before. This is what happens when climates change in areas worldwide. Global warming and climate change are essentially two closely-linked phenomena, even though the latter term has become used more often because the term "global warming" can confuse some people.

Anyway, with its attention-grabbing visuals and logical arrangement of information, Gore's presentation is perhaps a lot more engrossing than a typical university professor's talk on the same topic. Of course, I'm not saying all climate scientists are boring presenters, because I'm sure some are great at what they do. Still, Gore brought the issue of climate change to the public through his documentary An Inconvenient Truth, which deserved its Oscar for Best Documentary Feature. Now that 11 years has passed, there is one question on everyone's mind: what has happened since?

Certainly, An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power answers that question to a certain degree. Some segments of the film feature footage of out-of-the-ordinary disastrous weather events, like a massive storm in the Philippines, the flooding of the 9/11 Memorial under construction in New York when Hurricane Sandy arrived, and flooding in Miami Beach, Florida, providing further evidence that climate change is upon us. There are also clips of various international climate change summits and conferences, showing us that most of the world is on board with trying to combat climate change through new energy initiatives and environmental policies. Even so, the primary purpose of this film is not to summarize the news following An Inconvenient Truth.

Rather, An Inconvenient Sequel is a continuation of Al Gore's efforts to educate and inspire the public about climate change. The slideshow he did back in 2006 is something he continues to update and present to attendees of his climate leadership training conferences. The clips of Gore's lectures in this film present some of the new slides added to the presentation. It's also an opportunity to see how hundreds of people from around the world are coming to Gore's talks in order to leave with new ideas for their own climate change movements back home. This is a nice thing to see, especially when battling climate change requires a worldwide effort and no one person, not even Gore, can do it all.

There are several things in this movie, whether in Gore's presentation slides or in other segments, that can leave you feeling inspired. One of my favorite pieces of info in An Inconvenient Sequel has to do with the price of solar panels. It has gotten cheaper and cheaper over time to purchase solar energy, so much so that some communities around the world are powered mostly or entirely by solar power. Also, late in the film, Gore delivers a passionate public speech that is hard to ignore. You need things like this to keep the climate change movement going, especially during setbacks like President Donald Trump's decision to pull the United States out of the Paris Climate Agreement.

You don't have to watch An Inconvenient Truth before An Inconvenient Sequel. Each film can stand alone. However, they are also very complementary. One provides an introductory education, the other provides continuing education. One inspires change on an individual level, the other inspires change on a societal and global level. Both open the mind and heart to the issue of climate change. Overall, Al Gore's An Inconvenient Sequel is effective in teaching the truth about climate change and giving one the power to do something about it. It's a must-see for fans of documentaries made for a greater cause.

Anthony's Rating:

For more information about An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, visit the Internet Movie Database.

In addition, check out my review of An Inconvenient Truth.


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