I was very excited to find out The Age of Stupid would premiere in the US on television on Planet Green on April 17th, 2010. I really wanted to watch it on my big screen (which I felt guilty about after the movie actually). Honestly, I expected more of a 'Wow' from this much anticipated film, hence the +4 rating. For what it is though - a low budget documentary attempting to make a huge impact, it was great. I will attempt at explaining how I feel about the movie and at convincing you it is worth watching, without giving away any of the film itself!
First, let me say what this film is not. It's not entirely about science, it is more about politics, economics, and society. It is not post-apocalyptic, but it is viewed from that perspective. It's not entirely a documentary, though for the most part it is. It is not An Inconvenient Truth: Part Deux. It is not a brainwashing type of movie, it is painfully realistic. It is the best attempt I have seen to date at shaking people out of apathy.
It reminded me a little of the movie Babel (2006) because it simultaneously follows the plight of different people around the world that are somehow interconnected. This is different though, because the factor that connects them is climate change. Now, whether you believe in climate change or not, it does not matter here. It will not make you like the movie less or more. That's because these are real people, real stories, and a real crisis. It does not focus on throwing scientific facts or evidence in our face. Rather it focuses on the people. With a good dose of people's stubborn stupidity.
Occasionally it feels like the movie lacked clear direction. Although I felt that was intentional. I also might add that it does play on emotion as we are led through the personal experiences of people worldwide. Some may argue that it is anti-American. Yes, it is in some ways. Why? Maybe because an average American consumes everything at a rate about twice the average European and about 250 times a Tanzanian? Maybe because now Americans have made themselves thousands of enemies in the face of Iraqi children whose parents were killed by Americans. Maybe. That's what war does. Is it an anti-war movie? Indirectly, yes. If that's what comes to mind when children talk about their parents killed in war. Inevitably, it does focus on war because it focuses on oil.
It is gut wrenching at times. If your conscience is alive and well that is. If you live in a western culture (like myself) in a comfortable home, with running water, electricity that you use when you please, it will wake you up. It grabs you and gives you a much needed shakedown. We are so complacent in our culture of convenience, I don't think even 20% of us realize the full extent of what is going on in the world. You need to see this movie, please do. If not for yourself, at least for your children and grandchildren.
The title says a lot about the movie. It is perfect really. A perfect title for the age we are living in. The age where people do not think about how their actions affect people around the world. The age of indulgence, desire, and consumerism. The age of big, bigger, and biggest. It's not something new, there is nothing new under the sun. It is just that now, more than ever, the stupidity is in plain view - and people even flaunt it.
I highly recommend watching this, especially if you are:
addicted to shopping
calling yourself 'green'
under the age of 90
living in a large house or mansion
have more than 100 square feet of living space per person
driving an inefficient SUV
buying cheap stuff made in China by underpaid workers
[that should pretty much cover everyone]
It made me angry. If you see it, you'll know what I mean. Righteous anger? Just don't automatically assume I am a liberal if you have already seen the film. You are mistaken, I am not.
I am a woman, a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a cousin, a friend, a Christ follower, an Interior Designer, a blog author, a cook, an artist, an eco-conscious consumer, a nature lover, … more
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The Age of Stupid is a 2009 film by Director Franny Armstrong (McLibel, Drowned Out) and first-time producer Lizzie Gillett. It is a co-production between Franny's company Spanner Films and Executive Producer John Battsek's (One Day In September) company Passion Pictures.
Oscar-nominated 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?
The production was notable for its innovative way crowd-funding financing model, as well as the Indie Screenings distribution system which allows anyone anywhere to screen the film. The full story of the production of the film is told in the 50-minute Making Of documentary which is free to watch online and also available on the double-pack DVD.
The film was released in 2009 and became one of the most talked-about films of the year. It also spawned the hugely-successful 10:10 campaign.