Eleven years after he played a significant part in transforming public and political thinking on global warming with the influential climate change documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, former US vice-president Al Gore is back with its sequel, An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power. Gore chose the powerful platform of Cannes Film Festival to present the film, which is directed by Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk, and talks about the political challenges facing the climate crisis.
About one-fifth of the 100-minute film, screened at the special screenings category at the Cannes festival, focuses on India. Gore and his directors have, in fact, invested a lot of time in their documentary on India. Some parts of the film were shot in Delhi, which Gore visited with Cohen and Shenk in 2015. “Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi is doing a commendable job of moving India away from coal to solar and wind to fuel its energy needs in the future,” Gore told The Financial Express after the screening of the film.
In the sequel, Gore continues where he left off in 2006 with the Oscar-winning An Inconvenient Truth. This time, however, he addresses the urgency needed to combat the crisis. The Paris conference in November 2015 is a key element in the film—it also captures the intense negotiations that preceded the Paris agreement. Union power minister Piyush Goyal and Gore are shown engaged in a discussion in New Delhi ahead of the Paris conference. “I am only asking for the carbon space that the US used in the last 150 years,” Goyal tells Gore, explaining why India needs coal to boost development in the future just as America used it in the past century. “I don’t see the blue sky in Delhi. When is the sun coming out today?” Gore retorts, referring to air pollution in the capital.
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Gore is shown playing a major role in convincing American corporations to help India with credit and foreign exchange for investing in solar energy, as he goes back and forth with CEOs in the US and the Indian government. An Inconvenient Sequel also uses archival footage to show the devastating floods that submerged Chennai in December 2015.
The film, which was shot mostly before Donald Trump became US President, deals with the new political climate surrounding the campaign against global warming. “After four months, we know no person, not even the (US) President, who can stop the climate movement,” Gore said, adding that American businesses are making commitments to adopt 100% renewable energy. “There is a chance that President Trump will surprise everybody by keeping the US in the Paris agreement.”
An Inconvenient Sequel will release in theatres in the US on July 28. The makers are aiming for a theatrical release in India soon after. “We will release the film in India,” confirmed Cohen.
Faizal Khan is a freelancer