This is the must-see documentary from 2006 that you probably haven’t seen yet. And it’s not Sacha Baron Cohen’s awfully distasteful Borat.

An Inconvenient Truth could have been more suitably titled The Truth About Global Warming. Or for the sake of becoming a bit cryptic, The Truth About Al Gore. But as Gore agonizingly postulates in the film, it’s not that easy to sell the truth especially when the most important target audience – in this case, the government – is itself suspected of manipulating it.

“An inconvenient truth,” Gore describes, is one we hold “at arm’s length because if we acknowledge it, then the moral imperative to make big changes is inescapable.”

America’s former vice-president gives out a rather simple analogy that makes today’s generation of humans no different from another four-legged creature: when a frog is submerged in lukewarm water, it could die a slow death as the water heats up. But dropped instantly in boiling water, Kermit leaps out in an instant. Gore’s point? People conveniently ignore the truth until jolted by a catastrophe.

This documentary encapsulates years of Gore’s efforts at “jolting” the American people about the perils of global warming. In recent years, he has even become a by-product globalization, wielding his now-famous slideshow (by all means, not your typical Powerpoint presentation) to audiences around the world.

There is no better time for Gore to resuscitate his public image as an environmental crusader than now. Mother Nature is on his side. Based on his account, global warming is to blame for every natural disaster that in the last few years – heat wave in California, drought in Darfur, Hurricane Katrina. Did you know that the ten “hottest” years recorded in human history have occurred in the last two decades, the hottest being 2005? Gore just provided doomsday sayers a lot to crow about. Come to think of it, global warming could literally translate hell on Earth. The Book of Revelations could be right after all.

Gore uses the power imagery – before and after pictures of melting glaciers, for example – to drive home a point. Even the cartoonish depiction of a polar bear swimming in the middle of what could be Waterworld, to show the dangers of the polar icecaps melting, is convincing enough rather than showing real-life bears drowning.

Hands down, Gore gives the best slideshows not merely relying on graphs, pie charts and comparative statistics and it is his presentation that the film focuses on. In between, the film capitalizes on Gore’s own imagery – it opens with him describing an idyllic landscape and throughout the film ruminates on his own nostalgia and how everything is lost for the future generation.

While this movie is about global warming, it gives a glimpse of Al Gore especially for those who do not know much about the guy other than the former number 2 guy to Clinton and the man who almost became US president. For some Americans, Bush winning as president is an ongoing inconvenient truth. The guy has his own documentary in Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11, only he cannot be proud about it. There are those who say An Inconvenient Truth is Oscar material. The film shows a man who becomes even more passionate in what he believes in as he goes on in his crusade. Indeed, there is no better actor than one playing his actual self.

The film is a must-see for anyone even remotely interested in global warming. Most people have an idea what it is but are probably clueless what causes it and how. After watching it, do your future descendents on this Earth a favor. Blog about it or pass on the message to your 10,000 Friendsters. Show Gore you can handle the truth.

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