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“The 11th Hour” Environmental Documentary Essay (Movie Review)


Humanity and the future of the planet are in danger because of the irreversible changes in the environment. The progress and industrialization affected the world and nature significantly, and many effects are dangerous for the future of civilization. It is the task of the global community to find a reasonable solution and stop the processes of destruction. This idea is proclaimed in the documentary film The 11th Hour (2007), directed by Leila Conners Petersen and Nadia Conners and produced by Leonardo DiCaprio, who also performed as the narrator in the film (DiCaprio, 2007). Even though the natural crisis along with global warming, floods, and deforestation is obvious and its consequences can be unpredictable for the humanity, the authors of the film state that the ways to cope with the problem and maintain the natural balance exist and can be found because of the human brain’s power.

The structure of The 11th Hour is complex, and it is based on the combination of shocking images and vivid shots with the experts’ interviews. Many scientists, politicians, and journalists, including Stephen Hawking and Mikhail Gorbachev, provide their opinion on the problem in numerous interviews. Leonardo DiCaprio, as a narrator, presents the background for the story and draws the audience’s attention to the key topics discussed in the film. The introductory part of the film demonstrates the current situation concerning the environmental crisis (DiCaprio, 2007). Many devastating hurricanes and floods are the direct results of human activities because the environment is the global chain in which all the elements are linked and influence each other (Dargis, 2007). Droughts and deforestation, which can be observed today, are the results of the people’s activities years ago when the process of global industrialization started. Thus, to overcome the catastrophic events and to predict the worsening of the situation, it is important to answer questions about the causes of the processes and the ways to cope with the ecological crisis (Caranicas, 2007). The next parts of the film are developed to answer these significant questions.

Different environmental scientists, historians, and other specialists provide their vision of the problem. These experts discuss the role of a person in developing the ecological crisis. Thus, it is stated that possible causes of the environmental problems are the industrial revolution, the increase of the people’s powers, the intensive development of the human brain and inventions, the drawbacks in the approaches of the governments to balancing the economy and environments and factors associated with the national security. From this point, the ecological crisis is a result of humans’ irresponsible activities. The scientists pay attention to the fact that the human brain is so powerful that only people can achieve such technological progress, and only people can overcome the negative effects of their activities and predict them in the future (DiCaprio, 2007). That is why the experts claim that the solution to the problem is in changing the people’s approach and consciousness.

The last part of the film presents a variety of possible solutions to the problem to preserve the ecological balance and avoid the catastrophic changes in the environment. Focusing on the ideas of the scientists and professionals in different fields of knowledge, DiCaprio discusses the picture of the world developed according to the principles of sustainability. Thus, people should concentrate on the concepts of social responsibility and sustainability to protect those resources that humanity has today. To achieve natural harmony, it is possible to use progressive designs and develop the ideas of the carbon-neutral city because of the problem of people in their culture and their vision of the situation. Changes in consciousness and way of thinking can promote positive changes in life-based on the principles of ecological harmony and stability. To demonstrate the potential of life in the new world, the authors of the film use the computer-animated images. The narrator also accentuates the main aspects on which the audience’s attention should be focused to overcome the destruction of the ecosystem (DiCaprio, 2007). It is stated several times in the film that the problem is in people’s unwillingness to see the causes of disasters in their activities. Thus, the solution is in the actions of everyone.

The 11th Hour is a documentary film in which the problem of environmental protection and developed ecological crisis is actively discussed. The main difference in this film from many other projects on the topic is in providing real solutions to the problem. The causes of the process are discussed in detail, and specialists in various fields present their vision of the ways to cope with the crisis. The potential solution to the problem involves not only people’s activities in this direction as well as the nations and governments’ policies but also significant changes in the people’s way of thinking and perceiving the question of the environmental protection and ecological balance.

References

Caranicas, P. (2007). Facing the consequences at the 11th hour. Videography, 32(8), 32-36.

Dargis, M. (2007). . Web.

DiCaprio, L. (Executive Producer). (2007). The 11th Hour [DVD]. USA: Warner Independent Pictures.

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IvyPanda. (2020, July 27). "The 11th Hour" Environmental Documentary. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-11th-hour-environmental-documentary/

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""The 11th Hour" Environmental Documentary." IvyPanda, 27 July 2020, ivypanda.com/essays/the-11th-hour-environmental-documentary/.

1. IvyPanda. ""The 11th Hour" Environmental Documentary." July 27, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-11th-hour-environmental-documentary/.


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IvyPanda. ""The 11th Hour" Environmental Documentary." July 27, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-11th-hour-environmental-documentary/.

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IvyPanda. 2020. ""The 11th Hour" Environmental Documentary." July 27, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-11th-hour-environmental-documentary/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) '"The 11th Hour" Environmental Documentary'. 27 July.

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