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film criticism by maryann johanson | since 1997

Time to Choose documentary review: yes, it’s another movie about global warming

Time to Choose green light

Quickly dispels oh-no-not-more-doom-and-gloom climate-change trepidation with the optimism embodied in the title. There is hope for us, but we must act now.tweet
I’m “biast” (pro): getting very worried about global warming

I’m “biast” (con): getting very worried that we’re doing nothing but making documentaries about it

(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)

Good news, everyone! Clean renewable power is getting cheaper all the time… like, it’s already way cheaper than nuclear and coal and oil, and that’s without government subsidies for solar and wind (and though it’s not mentioned here, I bet it is counting all the subsidies that dirty, polluting, and/or planet-warming power production gets). Hooray! The bad news: there are still huge entrenched multibillion-dollar global megacorps with enormous investment sunk into fossil fuels, and they are not going away without a fight. Charles Ferguson, director of 2010’s Oscar-winning Best Documentary Feature Inside Job, is back with Time to Choose, and it fairly quickly dispels the oh-no-not-more-doom-and-gloom trepidation that inevitably accompanies this issue with the optimism embodied in the title: we do have options — good ones, workable ones, economically feasible ones — for beating back human-caused climate change, but there really is no time to lose, and we must start being a lot more proactive about implementing them. (The progress on renewables has come in spite of opposition from Big Fossil Fuel; imagine how much better off we’d be without such opposition.) Narrated by Oscar Isaac (X-Men: Apocalypse) and featuring tons of beautiful photography — though sometimes it’s beautifully ugly, as when Ferguson focuses on the environmental devastation caused by mountaintop-removal coal mining — the film makes the excellent case for how global warming and global poverty are interconnectedtweet, and how solving the first problem with also solve the second. But of course, there are those who benefit from global poverty, too… Still, it’s nice to feel that there’s a bit of hope to be found in what feels like an intractable oncoming worldwide disaster.

green light 3.5 stars

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Time to Choose (2016)
US/Can release: Jun 03 2016
UK/Ire release: direct to VOD

MPAA: not rated
BBFC: not rated

viewed on my iPad

official site | IMDb | trailer
more reviews: Movie Review Query Engine | Rotten Tomatoes

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