The multi-step process involves lotteries for time-slots-to-buy at which time you’ll see that the movies you wanted are sold out but if you’ve done this before (this is my ninth Sundance) you wouldn’t care much because you know that even the movies that are available are likely to range from really good to fabulous. Midway through our second day of films, we’ve seen six so far and that has definitely been the case.
Our first film was “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power” the 10 year-later followup to “An Inconvenient Truth” about the climate crisis. Featured in that first film, and throughout the news back then, was the warning from scientists that we had a 10 year window to address our carbon emissions or it could spiral out of control. Precious little has been done in that time and indeed, as expected, extreme weather events have become more extreme and frequent and the seas have begun to rise. This new film spends some significant time in Miami where the new term ‘sunny day flooding’ is used to describe the ocean’s encroachment onto the streets of some of the most expensive real-estate in the world. You might think that the property owners of such land could drive the political discourse but as we see in the movie that is not the case. The governor of Florida still refuses to let his staff use the term ‘climate change’. That should help.
As a film “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power” has a lot going for it, the editing and pacing are just about perfect, a cohesive narrative is presented and there’s not much more dramatic footage than that from our weather these days. But more than that it seems like we need documentaries to get our news. In part because the corporate bias of all of the major TV networks and also because there is so much happening. As the extreme events (weather and otherwise) become more commonplace the impact of each one is lessened. Documentaries like this are an excellent way to get a reminder of what has transpired and get some details that we probably never heard before. One of the things we see is that Al Gore has indeed remained an active statesman, perhaps salvaging the Paris Climate Talks by arranging for some solar technology to be made available to India. The cameras were right there in the negotiation room and later in Vice President Gore’s hotel room as he called the head of Solar City to see what can be done.
Vice President Gore was in attendance for the Q&A after the film and the ‘10-year window’ was brought up: “Isn’t our time expired?”. Mr. Gore’s answer was (paraphrasing) that “yes, some irrevocable damage has been done but there is still time to turn things around and salvage human civilization – and that is what we’re talking about here”.
I’ll add some to the above to make my full review of “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power”, which will be up in a couple of weeks along with reviews for the 16-20 other movies we’ll see and some of the other happenings around Sundance. Hint: It’s fun!