The Shift is About To Hit the Fan: Two New Documentaries To Save the World


Photo credit: still from Carbon Nation trailer

Two new documentary movies are due for broader release this month in the United States. Two movies that want to save the world, but, if their trailers are anything go by, their proffered solutions are radically different to one another. Carbon Nation is about technofix, "We already have the technology to combat most of the worst-case scenarios of climate change, and it is very good business as well." Whereas I Am is about community; "contrary to conventional thinking, cooperation and not competition, may be nature's most fundamental operating principle." To grossly generalise, one movie explores product, whilst the other people. Of course, the real solution will. no doubt, be an intimate blend of the two.
Image credit: carbonnationmovie.com

Carbon Nation interviews over 200 luminaries, many already familiar to TreeHugger readers, to glean insights into a better way forward. It appears to have been a long time in the making, as April first mentioned it way back in 2008. If the Oscar winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth was mostly about the problems our planet faces, then Carbon Nation sets out the showcase the answers. And interestingly touts itself as "a climate change solutions movie [that doesn't even care if you believe in climate change]."

We couldn't find a way to embed the video at the right size here, but clicking this link will take you straight to the trailer.

Like Carbon Nation, the I Am documentary also sports a catchy tagline: "The Shift is About To Hit the Fan." It's written and directed by Tom Shadyac, the director of lightweight cinematic comedies such as Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Liar Liar, The Nutty Professor, Bruce Almighty, Patch Adams, and I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry. We first referenced Tom when he dubiously dabbled in the bottled water industry to generate charity funds, and then later, when filming Evan Almighty, he sought to make it the first green movie --one that left no footprint.

But after a mountain biking accident rendered him incapacitated, he reappraised his luxurious, but hollow, Hollywood lifestyle and after fortuitously avoiding the worst of his illness threw himself into scaling down his own life footprint and making a movie that asks two questions: What's wrong with the world? and, What can we do about it? Again like Carbon Nation, a bunch of talking head interviews results, but here the leaning is towards how individuals might harness their apparently innate ability to work collaboratively with their fellow humans. See a profile at The Guardian, and review on Movieweb.

Regardless of the relative viewing quality of either of these feature length documentaries, one this is sure, more and more people are interested in solutions to environmental conundrums. And from the viewpoint of a tiny weblog that started out eight calendar years ago, that, at least, is a sight for sore eyes.

Carbon Nation
I Am documentary
More Environmental Movies
Interview with "The 11th Hour" co-directer Nadia Conners
The Cove To Be Screened in Tokyo, One Time Only
Who Killed the Electric Car?
Movie Review: The Age of Stupid - A Lot of Stick And Not Much Carrot

Tags: Education | United States

Best of TreeHugger