Review: ‘This Changes Everything’ puts a human face on global warming

On the surface, “This Changes Everything” brings nothing new or different to the ever-expanding field of global warming documentaries.

Serving as a visual companion to narrator Naomi Klein’s book, this is a survey of international activism in the face of those environmental inconvenient truths. It travels from Alberta’s Tar Sands to the South India site of a proposed power plant to financially strapped Halkidiki, Greece, to smog-choked Beijing.

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Whereas Klein’s 2014 bestseller took an empowering, proactive approach to the doomsday scenarios, the Alfonso Cuarón presentation, directed by Klein’s husband, Avi Lewis, demands a sharper focus and more incisive narration in keeping with that declarative title.

Instead, it takes a meandering route getting to the anticapitalist heart of the matter — that a global economy based on growth without limits is a model that can no longer be sustained or tolerated.

Despite those weaknesses, there’s still something unusual about an eco-mentary that puts a human face ahead of those all-too-familiar images of hungry polar bears and vanishing glaciers.

They may not do enough to alter the climate change film landscape, but Klein and those impassioned protesters provide something that has been in short supply in the predecessors — namely, a modicum of hope for the future.


“This Changes Everything”

MPAA rating: None

Running time: 1 hour, 30 minutes.

Playing: Sundance Sunset, Los Angeles.