The problem of climate change has become so urgent that it is interesting to see what actor Leonardo DiCaprio has contributed to arousing the public to take action. In “Before the Flood,” directed with a social conscience by Fisher Stevens, who co-produced the film with DiCaprio, the renowned actor wanders the world to see and report on the damage being done to our planet, with his trip recorded and exquisitely photographed. The film was showcased at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival and is now in commercial release.
DeCaprio observes the crumbling of the glaciers. He sees the decimation of forests. He narrates his experiences, and importantly, he interviews people along the way, in some cases those with technical knowledge, and in other cases, notables.
DeCaprio talks with former president Bill Clinton. He chats with President Obama, and interviews Al Gore. What emerges is a consensus that the challenge of climate change must be met before consequences are irreversible. We see the visual evidence.
In his capacity as United Nations Messenger of Peace, DeCaprio is shown addressing the U.N. on the occasion of the climate change accord, and he is direct in pointing out all that must be done beyond what has been agreed on at present.
There are times when the film seems more like a lecture than a documentary, but the sweep of ground covered makes it fascinating overall, and one can admire the dedication with which the filmmakers have united to provide this important contribution to the public discourse. A National Geographic release. Reviewed October 25, 2016.