2 October 2013 | csongor-hajna
This movie received a 10 from me, not because it is a perfect documentary but because it intends to save your life.
Yes, the movie seems mildly tedious and dragging at some points. But tell me, when you are in despair, trying to explain your kid the 100th time that it is NOT the best idea to poke the electricity plug hole with metal pins, isn't that tedious ... ? Still you do it. And you deserve the moral appreciation when you do it consequently. For me -- and you don't have to agree, of course -- the overwhelming moral message and values of this movie clearly break even with the small flaws that might otherwise put some critics off.
Jeremy Irons not only narrated and starred this film, but he has been its producer as well. It is obvious from the start that he fully adopted the main "role", i.e. he bites the bullet and doggedly guides us through a maze of ignorance, complacency, cynicism, incompetence, corruption and perhaps even malevolence that resulted in a situation when mankind's mere survival is in danger due to such trivial items like plastic bags or PET bottles. He does the job, despite it means looking sad, shocked, in disbelief, or utterly disturbed most of the time. His genius sometimes shines through the polluted fog though, e.g. when he swears like a hailstorm because of some marking pegs lost by him during an environmental field project or when he politely (and mischievously) encourages a female security officer to perform a thorough personal search during a facility visit.
The movie revolves around trash that we produce unnecessarily and dump irresponsibly. This is a simple and often abused subject, but the theme re-captures your attention when you learn that a zoologist has to handle sea predator carcasses as hazardous waste due to extremely high toxic levels that accumulated from lower life forms over time -- and this is what happens to us humans as well. Yes, there is a link between plastic bags, PET bottles and dropping fertility rate of young couples. We can literally disappear in 4-5 generations. These messages are mostly well documented and just moderately "populist" -- as much as the education level of the '"average citizen" requires.
Another boon for the movie is that it goes beyond pointing out problems and shows amazingly positive best practices, like San Francisco recycling roughly three quarters of its full waste quantity, generating thousands of jobs, recuperating valuable resources and most importantly, giving hope to us whining "environmentally conscious" geeks that is CAN be done properly and somewhere it IS already done better.
Music has been composed and performed by Vangelis -- another magnificent fellow dinosaur who does not deserve going extinct.
All in all, I would certainly recommend watching this movie, and I thank the authors for making it -- which is the least I should do to someone who made efforts to save our lives.