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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

The 11th Hour feels that long

SEA and SPA jointly screen The 11th Hour

Published: February 8, 2008
Section: Arts, Etc.

dc02070807.jpgWhat are we going to do when we have used up all our resources? Or when Antarctica melts? Or when we have killed off all our fellow inhabitants of Earth?

According to The 11th Hour, a documentary produced and narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio, although we are entering the so-called 11th hour, we can still reverse our ecological footprint and make quick and lasting changes which can help our planet for generations to come.

Hosted by the Students for Environmental Action and the Student Peace Alliance The film was shown this week in the Gertenzang auditorium.

All-in-all, The 11th Hour screening was less than ideal. It had a very good turn out Monday night when I attended, but many of those people ended up leaving early for numerous reasons.

One, assuredly, was that the sound and picture quality was poor at best. The groups did their best to fix the issues, but were defeated. Throughout the hour and a half documentary, the sound quality was always changing and the picture was constantly going in and out. I could see the audience reacting to all these distractions and shared their annoyance.

The documentary begins with a series of scientists and policy makers (who are generally constant throughout the film) discussing the state of the world in a ecological sense. They try to stay within their realm of knowledge on the issues they discuss and most make very valid points.

According to the documentary (as highlighted by its title), the time for action is upon us as currently, the world is in a state of disaster. Man has used his brain for evil and most likely will ruin the world to the point that Earth may begin looking more like Venus or Mars.

This part of The 11th Hour was depressing at best and downright scary at least. It consisted of a series of panic-inducing facts (with visuals to coincide) and nearly all the facts concluded with humans becoming extinct. Many people were seen exiting the auditorium during this half as well, probably because of the blatant propaganda. Yes, the scientists and other speakers made good points, but it was clear that only one side was being discussed.

The second half of the documentary focused on how to fix the Earth’s problems and what has already been done. This half was far more optimistic and it was clear that the audience responded better as well. The whole morale of the room seemed lifted and most people stayed in their seats during this time.

The 11th Hour, though important and valid, probably would reach a wider audience if its methods had been different. Though I am not a big fan of Michael Moore’s films, I still feel that I am entertained and that at least some of his points are valid and should be considered. Though I felt that this documentary was full of valid points, I (and I believe the rest of the audience as well) felt that I was rarely paying attention and just felt like I was being talked at for the entirety of the film.

I think that The 11th Hour is an important documentary which highlights a true issue that humanity as a whole needs to confront. I also believe though, that the documentary could have gone about proving its point in a much different manner.