The Age of Stupid (1A)

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The Independent Culture

This eco-documentary addresses the catastrophic effects of global warming – hurricanes, floods, glacier erosions – and gives it to us straight: we're doomed.

Indeed, the narratorial gimmick of the film sites Pete Postlethwaite in a vast archive-cum-news library, AD 2055, whence he sorrowfully informs us of how the planet has already crashed and burned. He illustrates how the apocalypse might have been averted with stories from circa AD 2008, including a British campaigner's failed attempt to convert a community to wind-farming, and an Indian plutocrat's determination to eradicate poverty – by setting up a cheap airline. The confusion thickens around an ageing hippy biker who reckons he's an eco-warrior yet spent his life working on oilrigs. Director Franny Armstrong doesn't really disentangle these contradictions, and while her crying foul on consumerism and air travel is unimpeachable, you wonder how many this wake-up call is going to affect. Most people who'd go to see this film are already onside, while the rest just don't care.