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September 26, 2009

The Age of Stupid


Writer/director Franny Armstrong ("McLibel") imagines a melted Arctic Circle in the year 2055, where the last human survivor "the Archivist" (Pete Postlethwaite) spends his days inside a specially-designed museum housing all of humanity's achievements. The hope is that one day, humanity will build itself up from the rubble. From the confines of his lonely outpost our narrator reflects on how mankind wiped itself out. On his "Minority Report"-styled computer screen, he watches historic natural disasters occurring in places like Nigeria, Jordan, New Orleans, and the Alpine where huge glaciers disappear every year. Interviews with people engaged in the fight for sustainable living (both for and against) sit next to witty animated sequences, and theme-supporting facts delivered in generous amount. Scientists agree that the world must cap its carbon emissions by the year 2012 or expect the worst. As cheeky as its title is, "The Age of Stupid" is yet another essential filmic call to arms for the planet to become sustainable as soon as possible. Educational and inventive, the documentary speaks with a strong editorial voice from a backward-looking vantage point. It's a narrative device that proves most effective.
(Spanner Films) Not Rated. 89 mins. (B) (Three Stars)


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