Movie review: “The 11th Hour”

A deeply depressing movie about the devastating effects that our consumer culture is having on our global ecosystem.

The movie was narrated and produced by a very earnest Leonardo di Caprio. It contains innumerable interviews with equally earnest and serious scientists who present their perspectives on climate change, pollution in its myriad forms and the merciless consumption of the earth’s resources (water, trees, fossil fuels, minerals, animals, plants).

After such disgust-and-depression inducing images as gallons of toxic waste being poured into rivers, millions of tiny fish being scooped up in nets and then discarded (dead, of course) by fishing vessels because they are too small, a seal pup being clubbed over the head in close-up (urgh), hillsides blown to shreds during mining operations, smoke billowing from factory chimneys, and literally tons and tons of solid waste dumped in overflowing landfill sites, I found myself inwardly cheering whenever our beloved planet Earth responded in the form of flash floods, tsunamis, run-away fires, volcanic eruptions, killing hundreds of thousands of people. Good on ya, Gaia! The less crazy people you have living on you, the better your chances of survival.

Quite frankly, it’s not surprising that our soils are becoming polluted, our rivers are becoming toxic, our seas are turning into deserts, and the air we breathe is smelling foul. Earlier today i’d watched an online video clip by Prof Hans Rosling arguing persuasively that the differences between the ‘developed’ world and the ‘developing’ world are no longer as clear-cut or as obvious as they might have been in the past.

But then, of course, I remember that I am one of those people contributing to the pollution and the consumption of the earth’s resources. Fortunately, there are some things each of us can do to help reduce the damage. I found an interview with Leila Connors Petersen of Tree Media Group, who co-directed “The 11th Hour”. She says:

Leila: “The film has inspired people to think about what they can do to change; to help build a sustainable world. The The 11th Hour Action community is built to help people plug into solutions and more important, connect with each other to help tackled the big issues. We should all change our lightbulbs and try to lighten our footprint by doing the things we can do at home and at the office; but we have to take it a big step further. We have to have our mayors take our towns and cities solar; we need to switch our buying habits en masse to help corporations create better manufacturing practices; we have to call on the next president of the United States to create a plan toward rapid sustainability on all fronts, including the reduction of climate change gases. Reinventing our infrastructure for a sustainable world is a big task, but it is an exciting one, full of opportunity. The 11th Hour Action community will be part of this change.”

There’s some interesting stuff on there, but most of it is for Americans. South Africans will have to find their own online community to hang out in. 🙂


Other movies we’ve watched in June: 

One thought on “Movie review: “The 11th Hour”

  1. i watched 11th hour over the weekend… it’s true that much of it is depressing, but being the optimistic that i am, i came away feeling that mankind is very inventive, and even if it’s primarily because of the high cost of oil nowadays, we WILL find ways of creating alternative energy, and growing our own food, and other things that will ultimately make for a greener planet.

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