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Film Review: An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power

From directors Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk comes An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, a film which weaves together heart-breaking stories of climate-change-induced disasters alongside news of sustainable innovations and environmental progress.

Standing out from the seemingly endless stream of hopeless climate news we hear on a daily basis, this new release makes a strong case for hope and optimism despite the odds – a must-see for anyone concerned about the well-being of our planet and the survival of humanity.

When An Inconvenient Truth was released in 2006, it sparked an unprecedented level of climate change discussion and there was hope that the film would inspire a fresh wave of environmental activism around the world. However, despite its success, the film faced a backlash from many climate sceptics, particularly from within the US Bush administration. Al Gore himself, the central figure of the film, was accused of walking the “road of hyperbole” and his findings labelled “absurd”.

The first film comprised mainly of Gore listing shocking statistics, and the major predictions of climate change science, in a lecture-style presentation; this new release presents Gore amid the action, up to his knees in flood waters, interviewing climate refugees and recruiting climate activists around the world. Surrounded by his evidence, Gore provides hard-hitting proof which his critics will struggle to challenge.

From images of pedestrians stumbling across roads in India, their shoes melting on the hot tarmac, to scenes of flooding in Miami and wildfires in Australia, Gore reveals a fresh sense of urgency to climate action. In a particularly alarming series of clips, we see the devastation of the 2013 flooding in the Philippines, concluding with a shocking panorama of row upon row of white crosses, against an idyllic palm tree back drop.

The scenes grow in drama and devastation – a crescendo building to an outburst from Gore himself, revealing a crack in his optimistic façade. Gore grows frustrated as he questions why the mainstream media and the public cannot connect the dots between these increasingly frequent disasters.

There are fantastic stories of progress interspersed through the film – including the incredible success of the solar energy market gaining traction across the world – but Gore’s overwhelming positivity surrounding the Paris Agreement seems to contradict the disappointment felt by many environmentalists.

But perhaps Gore’s optimism is exactly what we need. Amongst an endless stream of heart-breaking climate disaster reports, we may need some positivity to fuel our action. As Gore explains, “despair can be paralysing” – we need hope to drive us forward.

This new release is the perfect summary of today’s most pressing problem and will leave you concerned, yet optimistic, shocked, yet determined. With climate change acting as the forgotten factor in many of the world’s conflicts (including the war in Syria) and causing increasingly worse disasters, we need to act now.

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power is due to be released on Friday 18th August 2017, distributed by Paramount. You can check out Al Gore’s climate leadership programme here and join his recruits.

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