Before The Flood Review: Worth your 90 minutes and more!

Before the flood review

In an awe-inspiring moment in ‘Before The Flood’, Leonardo DiCaprio sits with former astronaut Dr. Piers Sellers in a dark room only illuminated by a graphic of planet Earth, wherein the latter goes on to show how different currents and rising temperatures will soon affect different parts of the world, leading to shortages of water and food.

Climate change has often been ridiculed by naysayers as a crisis that doesn’t exist. Before this dog raises his hind leg to give some defunct state heads the hydration that they need, here are two startling recent revelations:

  1. About 60 percent of the world’s fish, birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles have been wiped out over the past four decades, largely because of human activity. Source: The Living Planet Report 2016
  2. 2016 would be the world’s hottest year on record. Source: UN

Directed by Fisher Stevens and hosted by Leonardo DiCaprio, “Before the Flood” sets the right intentions, to demystify the oft-cited but rarely distilled terms like Carbon Tax, Palm oil plantation and The Paris Agreement. It also goes on to explore the possible solutions to diminish the extent of damage as it can be seen from Greenland to the Indonesian rain forests.

Before The Flood Review

It is with humbling honesty that Leonardo confesses early in the documentary that he isn’t an expert on climate change but someone willing to know and act. He also admits to having used up a lot more carbon-producing energy than a lot of humans on the planet, accepting his responsibility before holding behemoths like Shell, British Petroleum, PepsiCo also accountable for their actions.

The documentary begins with Leonardo DiCaprio’s appointment as UN Messenger of Peace in 2014, and presents his first-hand conversations with scientists, officials, and locals who experience global warming first-hand.

Although a subject of many exploratory documentaries, global warming, and climate change, hasn’t met the political will it should have.  To DiCaprio’s credit, he has utilized his global star power to bring together some of the world’s leading voices and experts on climate change in an engrossing must-see narrative.

before-the-flood-poster
‘Before the Flood’ brings the viewer up, close and personal with the ground-level victims of climate change – the polar bears of the Arctic, or the inhabitants of island nations like Kiribati.

The energy deficit developing world

Leonardo’s meeting with Sunita Narain, director of the Centre for Science and Environment, is perhaps the highlight reel of the film. Sunita brings to fore the western consumerism – the enormous houses, the monstrous SUVs, the excessive diet, the addicted shopping and calls to put the issue of lifestyle and consumption at the center of climate negotiations.

electricity-consumed-by-american
Electricity consumed by one American at home is equivalent to 1.5 citizens of France, 2.2 citizens of Japan and 10 citizens of China, 34 of India and 61 of Nigeria.

The Palm Oil Plantations

As Leonardo flies over what remains of the Sumatran rain forests (burned down for palm oil plantations), the scale of destruction is for all of us to see.  Minutes later, we are introduced to orphan baby orangutans, refugees of the burning forest, at a rescue center in the Mount Leuser National Park

before-the-flood-elephant
In Indonesia, forest fires are being intentionally set in order to create palm oil plantation, the cheapest vegetable oil. This has taken a toll on the last place on earth which still has Elephant, Orangutan, Rhino and Tiger together in the wild.

SEE ALSO: How an orphan baby elephant is helping others of his kind?

palm-oil-companies
From Pepsico to Burger King, Leonardo doesn’t shy away from name shaming the FMCG giants benefiting from the Palm Oil.

“I’ve been incredibly moved by so many climate change documentaries in the past, but I never felt that I saw one that articulated the science clearly to the public. I think people grasp it, but it seems something distant, far off, intangible and almost otherworldly. An individual doesn’t feel like they can make an impact. The journey for me was to try and make a modern-day film about climate change. I’ve been studying this issue for the past 15 years, I’ve been watching it very closely. What’s incredibly terrifying is that things are happening way ahead of the scientific projections, 15 or 20 years ago.”

~Leonardo DiCaprio

How giving up beef can save the planet?

say-no-to-beef
The documentary attacked the beef industry, urging viewers to stop eating beef as it’s a huge emitter of greenhouse gases.

The documentary does offer a glimmer of hope too, in the efforts of scientists and renewable energy proponents like Elon Musk.

3 Take-away from Before The Flood:

  1. Consume Differently: What you BUY? What you EAT? How you get your POWER?
  2. Vote for leaders who will fight climate change by Ending fossil fuel subsidies, Investing in renewable, Leaving fossil fuels in the ground & Supporting a price on carbon. There’s no such thing as clean fossil fuel.
  3.  Stop buying products that use palm oil: Decisions we make in our daily lives are affecting the life of an entire forest. Remember that when you buy your next packet of Lays chips.

Noah came before the flood, humans have to undo their wrong while there’s still time.

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Published by Abhishek Joshi

The man who was Peter Pan — aka 'Dog With Blog'. Raconteur, Reader, Backpacker... If I were an element, I'd be radioactive.

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