A devoted environmentalist, actor Leonardo DiCaprio was named the United Nations Messenger on Climate Change in 2014. He's by no means a scientist, but his tremendous fame affords him the global platform and unfettered access required to effectively advocate for the preservation of our planet. With great determination and investigative curiosity, DiCaprio embraces this challenge through the format for which he is best known: the cinema.
The feature-length documentary Before the Flood represents the fruits of his efforts to educate himself and others on this pressing crisis. The film takes a sweeping and all-encompassing view of the slowly building catastrophe that is global warming. DiCaprio plays inquisitive host to many of the world's top climate scientists and assorted leaders who have remained at the forefront of the issue. Given our current trajectory, their prognosis for our planet is anything but optimistic.
We're placed in the middle of the arctic where hundreds of cubic kilometers of ice have melted in record time, thereby ushering in the potential for more calamitous weather patterns, floods and droughts. We're taken to the halls of power in Washington where well over a hundred senators currently contend that climate change is a myth. In Beijing, China, we're introduced to a population who struggles with rampant disease and death due to the record-setting pollution brought on by industrialized interests. We're shown the woefully inadequate infrastructure of the world's most populated coastal regions.
From the destruction of the rainforests to the disintegration of the coral reefs, the destructive impact of our carbon footprint is clearly stated, as are the consequences of further inaction. Throughout the course of the film, DiCaprio acts as the audience's surrogate; seeking out evidence that supports the notion that global warming is in a constant state of escalation, and even questioning his own contributions to the crisis.
In order to reverse the tides of climate change, the global community must come together to overcome the greatest challenge our world has ever known. Before the Flood offers a comprehensive overview of climate change, and empowers viewers to take a stand in saving their planet for future generations.Directed by: Fisher Stevens