DVD Review – Before the Flood

When An Inconvenient Truth came out over a decade ago it had all the usual urgency of a message film/documentary; Hollywood cared for about six months and then moved on to the next subject. Leonardo DiCaprio seemed to take Al Gore’s snore-inducing lecture to heart, though, and over the last decade has made global climate change his cause de jour. Of all the bluster about climate change/global warming 10 years ago from that circle, the only one still fighting that good fight in earnest is the recent Oscar winner for The Revenant. Now DiCaprio is back with the NatGeo project Before the Flood that focuses on what mattered to him so much that he dedicated a significant portion of his Academy Award night speech to.

Before the Flood is a fairly one-sided propaganda piece focusing on DiCaprio seeing firsthand the “effects” of climate change and gathering together with people on that side to discuss how to fix it all. Pulling footage from over three years, including during the production of what would become DiCaprio’s Oscar winning role, this is a film that preaches to the choir instead of the congregation.

To be able to access the film on any meaningful way you can’t come in with an open mind; you have to explicitly agree with Leo and his friends going in. This feels more like a fund raiser, or the beginning of a campaign for a Carbon Tax, more than a documentary.

If you’re a believer in climate change, this will pander to what you believe in. It’s essentially a documentary length production seemingly inspired by “We’ve got to do something” by Aldous Snow and Infant Sorrow. If you’re someone who doesn’t believe in climate change this probably won’t change your mind, either.

That’s the disappointing part of the film; it doesn’t try to make an objective argument to sway people from the other side. This is screeching at a protest rally for your cause, nothing more.

An EPK piece as well as some deleted scenes are included.

NatGeo presents Before the Flood. Directed by Fisher Stevens. Starring Leonard DiCaprio. Run Time: 96 minutes. Rated PG. Released on: 4.18.17

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