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Movie review: ‘Climate of Change’

“Ordinary people are the only people that will save the world,” says a London public relations executive in the gentle and artful documentary “Climate of Change.” It’s a quote that offers a logical and immediate key to our planet’s preservation but also nicely encapsulates director Brian Hill’s approach here to depicting grassroots ecology.

Hill traveled the globe capturing a variety of average citizens leading regional efforts to defend their environments and, in turn, help to mitigate the potential effects of climate change. Whether it’s an activist in Togo urging solar cooking methods, New Guinea natives practicing sustainable logging, West Virginians protesting the ravages of strip mining, or schoolchildren in India articulating the perils of plastics, the movie highlights the many inconvenient truths about the Earth’s fragility and how we fit into its destruction — as well as its protection.

There’s as much beauty in the deeply felt commitment of the film’s environmentalists as there is in its visual splendor and in Tilda Swinton’s lyrical narration (written by British poet Simon Armitage). And although little revealed here breaks particularly new ground, the movie proves another essential plea for environmental vigilance. As one Indian youngster so profoundly reminds us, “We are the renters of this world, not its masters.”

calendar@latimes.com

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