To begin with, let me present a very committed documentary, a bit too much ignored for me (though it may be more famous in Britain) The Age of Stupid.
The Age of stupid is a docu-fiction, whose quite disillusioned narrator is none but the most excellent Pete Postlethwaite (as seen in Last of the Mohicans, The Usual Suspects, Brassed off, The constant Gardener, Romeo + Juliet, ..., and even some TV period dramas such as Martin Chuzzlewit). He plays an old archivist living alone in the world of 2055 which is devastated by global warming, who's watching old TV archives from the 2000's and keeps wondering : why did not we stop global warming while we still could ?
The fiction part (well, all 2055 bits) of the documentary is sometimes a bit cheap -we can feel the documentary wasn't made on an non-limited budget. The construction of the documentary is a bit surprising at the beginning : it is a patchwork of mini documentaries about people as different as Fernand the old man from the French Alps, Jeh the Indian businessman, Piers the British engineer, Alvin from New Orleans, Layefa from Nigeria or Jamila & Adnan the two little Iraqis refugees. Yet, thanks to Pete Postlethwaite, it has a coherence, and after a few minutes you really get caught.
And now the Did you know it ? corner :
- The London preview was 100% solar-powered ! small article in French on the matter
- It has entered the Guinness book for the record of the biggest simultaneous screening, in more than 700 cinemas worldwide and 55 countries. Personalities as different as Kofi Annan, Moby, or even Thom Yorke from Radiohead attended.
- It has been nominated for best documentary at the British Independent Film Awards
- It has been screened at the 3-D spherical Parisian cinema of La Géode during Copenhagen conference.
The director, Franny Armstrong, has secured herself a complete independence thanks to an original way : the documentary was financed by 223 people, who gave between 30 and 15 000 pounds each. Small-budget for such a substantial project. It is absolutely not consensual, and quite pitiless towards our globalized denying society.
The Age of stupid is not as spectacular as Yann Arthus Bertrand's Home, nor as mediatised as Al Gore's Inconvenient Truth. Yet, it is startling and punchy, and has to be seen. So far, it is only available in DVD or VOD, but on the official website there you can check for TV screenings.