American Fable is ambitious, maybe too much so sometimes, but there's an intense pleasure in the boldness of the film's style.
I agree with every word in this tedious documentary. As you can guess from the title, "The 11th Hour" sounds a warning that we have pretty much depleted the woodpile of planet Earth, and to keep things running, have been reduced to throwing our furniture on the fire. It is a devastating message.
Once there was a time when Earth existed on current energy. This year's sunlight fell on this year's crops, feeding and warming this year's human beings. With the exploitation of coal and oil, however, we have set fire to millions of years of stored energy as fast as we can, and the result is poisonous pollution, global warming and planetary imbalance. What lies at the end of this suicidal spending spree? Stephen Hawking paints a future in which Earth resembles Venus, with a temperature of 482 degrees Fahrenheit. There would still be rain, however, although unfortunately of sulfuric acid.
Earth is cartwheeling out of balance. Did you know, as I learned in the new issue of Discover magazine, that while fish stocks disappear from the oceans, their place is being taken by an unimaginably huge explosion of jellyfish -- literally brainless creatures with a lifestyle consisting of eating? Sounds like us.
"The 11th Hour," narrated and co-produced by Leonardo DiCaprio, gathers a group of respected experts to speak from their areas of knowledge about how we are despoiling our planet, and what we might possibly do to turn things around. We don't have much time. The architects John Todd and Bruce Mau explain how we could build "green" buildings that would use solar energy, consume their own waste and function much like a tree. There is no reason every home (every newly built one, for sure) would not have solar panels on the roof, to help heat, light and cool itself. Well, one reason, actually: The energy companies would resist any effect to redirect their own gargantuan subsidies toward eco-friendly homeowners.