Coming out at just the right time — another way of saying “at any point in the last 50 years” — is yet another climate-change documentary, this one more optimistic than most.
Director Jared P. Scott makes the relatively novel choice of going past the simple presentation of data on average temperature and sea level and the like. Scott’s case, aided visually by interstitial subject headings in the form of an interconnected lattice of words, is that climate change impacts every aspect of human society, and indeed is the outright cause of many of its biggest, seemingly unconnected, problems, like the Syrian Civil War.
Bringing in more than strictly meteorological topics is a compelling strategy, as it lends a novel feel to the film without ever deviating from the central subject. Scott’s filmmaking does a smooth job of linking A to B to Z, with slick, studiously understated montage and an effective music score, although some of the arguments made seem a bit of a stretch, as if climate change is being shoehorned into things artificially.
Be that as it may, the ultimate conclusion, as with any serious contemplation of climate change, is that We Have to Do Something, which is true. Unlike most other studies of its kind, however, The Age of Consequences ends on a hopeful note: a lingering bird’s-eye view of a field of solar panels, perhaps the most optimistic image known to the climate-change genre.
The Age of Consequences
Directed by Jared P. Scott
Opens January 27, Cinema Village
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on January 25, 2017