An Inconvenient Truth is a 2006 documentary directed by David Guggenheim and written by former United States’ Vice President Al Gore, with Gore also starring in the film. The film was produced under Lawrence Bender Productions and Participant Productions, and was distributed by Paramount Classics. Operating in the expository mode of documentary, An Inconvenient Truth follows Gore’s campaign to raise awareness on global warming through a complex, comprehensive slideshow. The film is an observational, expository, and reflexive in that it depicts Al Gore narrating and teaching viewers about information observed by the government and world.
The film had several strengths and quite a few weaknesses. The structure was somewhat difficult to follow, jumping from chronological order of the earth’s atmosphere and the climate of the government in regard to environmental issues, to personal accounts of Gore’s life. Although this structure weakened the cohesiveness of the film, the emotion that the “tangent’s” brought were powerful and served to propel the film’s conviction forward. Other strengths of the film included Gore’s charisma and public speaking prowess, the funny animations, and the music. Although many have criticized the use of a feature-length power point, its rigidity slightly compensated the loose structure. The use of found footage was very effective in that it showed the timelessness of the planet’s issues. As opposed to The Story of Stuff — a short documentary on consumerism and the environment — An Inconvenient Truth does not focus on why the environment is the way it is, but rather focuses on the fact that the environment is the way it is and how we as human beings can fix it. It is clear that Gore initially was introduced to environmentalism by Professor Roger Revelle at Harvard University, in that all the sources and people interviewed for the film were highly credible and experts in their given fields.
I felt that An Inconvenient Truth was a great documentary that was engaging and extremely educational. I think it is the perfect first film for beginning environmentalists. The structure was sometimes confusing but always brought power and emotion with it. I was too young to know Gore back was he was running for president or in office, so this film really gave me a chance to get to know him better and come to respect him.
Written by Joshua Dufour