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Home » Reviews

The Age Of Stupid review

Submitted by on Monday, 21 December 2009 Loading Add to favourites  4 Comments

agestupidLast night, Mr Green and I watched the “Age of Stupid“.

In case you haven’t heard of it, the film, directed by Franny Armstrong, stars Pete Postlethwaite as a man living in 2055, watching archive footage from 2008 and asking “Why didn’t we stop climate change when we had the chance?”

The Age of Stupid is part drama, part documentary and it really does leave you feeling a bit ‘stupid’.

Climate change denial

We have so much evidence to show that climate change is happening, yet many of us are in denial or don’t bother to do anything because we blame China / corporations / America / our neighbours. The Age of Stupid is a call to action and shows, with startling effects, the results of human greed and lack of personal responsibility.

Age of Stupid movie

The Age of Stupid follows seven people from around the world:

  • A British wind farmer, who’s neighbours would rather shoot him than allow him to errect wind turbines.
  • An Indian airline boss who dreams of providing dirt-cheap air travel to every person in India.
  • A Nigerian medical student who wants “to live like an American with flashy cars, drinking clean water and eating good food”, but lives in complete poverty.
  • A French mountain guide who has seen glaciers melt by more than 150 metres in his lifetime.
  • Two Iraqi refugees who saw their father killed and elder brother badly burned during the Iraq war.
  • A lifelong Shell employee who says when the oil starts flowing it “smells so much like money it’s just beautiful”.

Thought provoking

Friends who had watched The Age of Stupid told me it was brilliant, remarkable or thought provoking. They said it  made them feel angry, depressed or sad. The remarked it was engaging, a wake up call or alarming and one wasn’t sure whether he felt motivated or condemned.

It is that sort of film – one to evoke a myriad of emotions. At the end of it I too wasn’t sure whether I felt motivated or condemned, but I think that’s the point. The film makes you feel something and as far as I can make out, if that feeling leads to positive action, then Franny has achieved her goal.

Age of stupid screenings

The Age of Stupid is being shown around the world at various locations. Afterwards there is the chance to discuss with others what you can do. But if you can’t make it to a cinema screening you can download the film to watch at home.

If you’ve watched it and feel full of gloom, or full of bloody minded optimism, what CAN you do?

Reduce carbon emissions

  1. Begin by working out your own carbon footprint. Knowledge is power!
  2. Pop over to the 10:10 website and sign up. The 10:10 campaign is dedicated to helping the UK cut carbon emissions by 10% during 2010 in a bid to tackle climate change.
  3. If you have a blog, community noticeboard or talk to lots of people, then help spread the word about the Age of Stupid or organise a screening.
  4. Join your local LETS scheme or Transition Town.
  5. Watch the equally brilliant Story of Stuff – a 20-minute, fast-paced, fact-filled look at the underside of our production and consumption patterns. Use the information to make some changes to your consumerist habits.

Have you seen the Age of Stupid? How did it make you feel and have you made any lifestyle changes since watching it?

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