Thursday, August 23, 2007

Let's Save The World! - Go Watch A Movie!

So I got back from Shanghai 2 weeks ago and my returning visit (after 5 years) confirmed my worst suspicions. Everything that I believe is wrong in this world, seems to be glorified in spades in China (or at least Shanghai, which sadly, resembles little like the glory days when it was the Paris-of-the-East, where my parents were from before they escaped during the cultural revolution).

You want bad architecture? Particularly knock-off classical architecture that cartoonifies the signifying features? Check. A fast continuing separation of the poor, working class and the extremely wealthy earning more on the backs on the abundantly poor? Check. Greed, disappearing culture and the rise of shopping as a lifestyle? Check. Ignoring the environment for the sake of making a fast buck? Check. I won't even start on the human-rights stuff or the fact that you have an entire society who sees nothing wrong with fakes (purse, DVD's, golf clubs, shirts, drugs, food... you name it). For a government that is so good at cracking down on sex, violence and free speech in the media and arts, they sure seem to turn the blind-eye on copyright infringement. Harry Potter And Leopard Walk Up To Dragon anyone? Okay, so North America sounds a lot like the above too but trust me, we seem European by comparison to China, the most capitalistic place I've ever been.

So while I'm on my rant, I wanted to mention that The 11th Hour opens tomorrow (Aug. 24th) in selected cities (including Toronto) and opens nationwide next Friday (Aug. 31st). It has already opened in New York and Los Angeles, and it's a new documentary produced and narrated by Leo "I drive a Prius" DiCaprio. While I usually roll my eyes when celebrities do charity work or fight for causes (not because I don't think it's a good thing but more because it usually feels like a publicity stunt or ploy), I actually believe Leonoardo DiCarprio is actually fighting the good fight against global warming and other environmental causes.

The movie seems to be getting pretty good reviews so far, though at this point it may be preaching to the choir, but ANYTHING to hammer into people's head that we need to start taking action NOW to save humanity from the environmental disaster we seem to be moving towards (and it's not really about saving the Earth, because the Earth itself will live on, it's us being able to LIVE on this Earth that is the concern people don't seem to be getting).

Still, I won't say I'm not a bit of a hypocrite as well considering my two full time jobs are BOTH in industries not exactly known for helping the environment, and I still drive my car to work everyday (though I am looking to move closer to work, now if only condo prices come down a little bit more).

Anyways, the film synopsis is after the jump with the same clip in youtube format.

Here is the film's official synopsis: "Leonardo DiCaprio's “The 11th Hour” is a feature length documentary concerning the environmental crises caused by human actions and their impact on the planet. "The 11th Hour" documents the cumulative impact of these actions upon the planet's life systems and calls for restorative action through a reshaping of human activity. With the help of over fifty of the world's most prominent thinkers and activists, including reformer Mikhail Gorbachev, physicist Stephen Hawking, and Nobel Prize winner Wangari Maathai, “The 11thHour" documents the grave problems facing the planet's life systems. Global warming, deforestation, mass species extinction, and depletion of the oceans' habitats are all addressed, and their causes rooted in human activity. The combination of these crises call into question the very future not of the planet, but of humanity. However, the most powerful element of “The 11th Hour” is not a portrait of a planet in crisis, but the offering of hope and solutions. Scientists and environmental advocates such as David Orr and Gloria Flora (note: these names can be interchanged for any of the experts) paint a portrait for a radically new and exciting future in which humanity seeks not to dominate the earth's life systems, but to mimic them and coexist. “The 11th Hour" calls for a future now within our grasp that is both sustainable and

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