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THE AGE OF STUPID, 2009
Cast: Pete Poselthwaite, Alvin Duvernay, Jeh Wadia, Layefa Malemi, Jamila Bayyoud, Piers Guy, Fernand Pareau.
Poselthwaite starring as The Archivist, an old man living alone in 2055 and in charge of a vast repository of art, treasures, film footage and various miscellaneous objects that relate to man, years after the earth has been left uninhabitable by increasing global temperatures.
He collects together the stories of 5 different people and looks back to ask why, in 2007, when humanity knew the planet was facing destruction, we sat back and did nothing?CLICK HERE and TV episodes
Armstrong ('McLibel') continues her strong canon of socially conscious and penetrating documentary with this, the next ideological step in the climate change series of films (after An Inconvenient Truth and The 11th Hour).
The genius stroke of this film takes is that rather than predicting what could happen, it looks back on what has happened (i.e. what is going on now) and the documentary footage is enlightening – particularly those scenes that relate to Wadia, the Indian entrepreneur starting a new, low-budget airline in a country just emerging as an economic superpower and Malemi who struggles to earn money out of selling oil on the black market in Nigeria to support herself through medical school. The future is not bright as the present is tense.
This is a discourse led piece of 'info-tainment' and is easy to relate to as Armstrong uses real people facing real moral dilemmas rather than high-brow politicians, film stars or scientists. These people speak to us as we are all normal energy users living at a time when energy consumption is at its peak.
Poselthwaite adds a sobering humanity to this and manages to ask difficult, moral questions about our behaviour during an environmental catastrophe.
(Interesting to note, too, how the film was financed. The producers sold shares to various interested parties, “crowd-funding”, who then receive an appropriate share of the film’s profits. This is co-operative, climate film production on a dizzyingly well organised scale).