Eco-leaders always get this inevitable question at Q&As: What's one thing that I can do to combat climate change (or save the environment)? Ask eco-inspirational director Franny Armstrong, and you'll get perhaps the most inspiring -- and toughest -- answer of all: Examine your own life -- and maybe change it, big time, to do what makes a difference.
That's what she said at a small press screening in L.A. for The Age of Stupid, a new enviro-documentary directed by Franny that'll hopefully get people to actually act on what they learned after watching An Inconvenient Truth. And thanks to everyone from Thom Yorke of Radiohead to former United Nations Secretary-General and Nobel Peace Prize winner Kofi Annan planning to show at the star-studded, action-oriented premier next week, the film will hopefully get the attention and viewership it deserves!
Unlike most eco-documentaries, The Age of Stupid isn't a film full of talking heads predicting doom and gloom. Instead, the film's set in the future where humans have pretty much self-destructed. As Kate Andrews at Inhabitat describes it:
In this epic tale, Pete Postlethwaite stars as a man living alone in the devastated future world of 2055, looking at old footage from 2008 and asking: why didn’t we stop climate change when we had the chance?
Peter's character flips through film footage that shows how we allowed our own demise by doing nothing, despite full knowledge of the climate catastrophe on the way. That footage shows actual documentaries of what's been going on here the last few years -- from the building of budget airlines to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina -- told in an engrossing, multi-storied, Traffic-esque fashion. Watch the preview!
"The campaigning film of the year," is what Lucy Aitken-Read at Oxfam News Blog calls The Age of Stupid
This film made me chuckle and cringe and, if I had watched it at home and not in a public space, weep and swear. The Age of Stupid took me on a bit of an emotional rollercoaster, dumping me in the plunge pool of reality, making me absolutely determined to do something.
And you -- yes you -- can be at the global premier of this film -- or at least the first-of-its-kind simulcast premier event and screening. The big event happens September 21 at 7:30 pm Eastern at a solar tent in New York City. That's where Kofi Annan, The X Files' Gillian Anderson, and Pete Postlethwaite will arrive via alternative transportation, walk down a green carpet made of recycled soda bottles -- then chat about the film on a panel -- before a performance by Thom Yorke.
You don't have to be in NYC to enjoy the show, however. The event will also be simulcast to 444 movie theaters nationwide (6:30 pm Central, 5:30 pm Mountain -- or 8 pm Pacific and in more than 30 countries via tape delay -- hopefully making this premier event the biggest ever!
Find out what theater near you's participating (PDF) -- then get your ticket! And if you can't wait until the premier, watch short videos about The making of The Age of Stupid at The Guardian Environment, to learn about how the filmmakers got through everything "from kidnap threats in Nigeria to 'crowd-funding' in London" to make this moving eco-documentary.
And after the film -- Examine your life, as Franny advises. Are you spending 40+ hours a week doing what's meaningful to you, what makes the difference you seek in the world? Here's what Franny has to say about her film -- and the environment -- at Huffington Post:
I was born in the '70s as part of the MTV generation who were told by a squillion adverts that the point of our existence was to shop more. Daunting though the task ahead may be, I feel enormously inspired and quite relieved that it turns out that we have something important to do. The people who came before us didn't know about climate change and the ones who come after will be powerless to stop it. So it's down to us. Other generations came together to overturn slavery or end apartheid or win the vote for women. There is nothing intrinsically more useless about our generation and there is no doubt about what we have to do. The only question which remains is whether or not we give it a go.
BlogHer Contributing Editor Siel also blogs at greenLAgirl.com.
Photos via The Age of Stupid
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