Al Gore’s documentary film An Inconvenient Truth explores the ominous reality of global warming. This film, when it was released to the public in 2006 gained huge notoriety for its intense focus on an issue that hadn’t been widely recognized before hand. It, it a sense, is what brought the globe to a stand still, and forced everyone to recognize that we must have responsibility for our actions. We must understand the consequences of what we do now, and how far into the future those consequences will extend. It could be said, after the various low-key advertisements for environmental awareness that had preceded this film, An Inconvenient Truth is what brought environmental issues to the forefront.
The documentary is unapologetic for the facts and findings that have spurred Al Gore, for the last four decades, to become an active voice for environmental issues. When his foray into the presidential race yielded a less than admired result, namely his not being elected, he plowed forward in his fight for public awareness. Now that he was a household name, people began to listen.
Much of the documentary goes between numbers and statistics and his personal overview, where much of his intimate life was also revealed. He illustrated the origins of his stern sense of responsibility for the global environment, and those who inhabit it, with his child-hood tobacco farm, and his family member’s death to cigarette induced cancer. This revelatory section of the film shows the audience the sincerity with which Gore believes in the cause of stopping and reversing global warming. He understands well, and this from a young age, what one’s actions mean in terms of consequences for others.
His use of concrete statistics and projected data fulfill a sense of reality for the audience. This is not simply a man who is speaking from a podium, about his life experiences; instead there are facts that support what he is saying. In a world as skeptical and unbelieving as ours, this perhaps appeals to those who are the hardest to convince of impending global disaster, and our hand in said disaster.
Perhaps the most significant section of the film is where the audience is told what they can do to help prevent the kinds of catastrophes that Gore foresees in the not too distant future. We are not simply left with a sense of dread and impending doom, which as the documentary shows is quite plausible, we are given choices, solutions, and a distinct manner in which we can help be harbingers of a healthy earth and her healthy people.