Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Not Stupid?

Just back from a showing of The Age of Stupid - I'd been thinking of arranging a showing fo our congregation and community, but have not been persuaded. It starts very powerfully so I had almost immediately stopped noticing the oppressive heat in the room and probably cried the first time about ten minutes in - over a glacier.

But eventually I realised I was feeling bombarded with anger. I suppose the title should have been a warning of the anger behind it. It was at about this point that several folk walked out. It did then calm down somewhat but I ended up disappointed. By saying that 2055 would see humans on the verge of extinction I felt they were being unhelpfully extreme. It gave too much scope for people to refuse to believe.

There was lots of good stuff in it (I'd have been happy just to watch the wonderful French mountain guide) and lots of heart breaking stuff, especially the Iraqi kids. I had hoped for a more coherent exploration of what climate change would mean for the world. Certainly it is powerful and if some people find themselves inspired to radical action by it then that's fantastic, but I don't think I'd be happy to see it shown in all schools as some have suggested.

On the subject of climate change and coherent explanations, Jo Jamison at Operation Noah has made a very helpful five minute radio piece on the refugee crisis that will result, here.


  1. We've not yet met but I recently started working on the environment for the Diocese of Oxford and have been following your blog and hearing lots about what you are doing in Reading.

    Sorry you didn't enjoy Age of Stupid, I think you are quite right that some people will react to it negatively. You might refer the new film Home by Yann Arthus-Bertrand - details on my blog.

  2. Joanna,

    Try watching the Age of Stupid film again. I shared some of your concerns the first time, but arranged a showing at my church (best Sunday evening attendance outside Christmas). On second viewing, I found that there were quite a lot of hopeful messages in there as well. The 2055 part was billed as drama and after all, was only 2 minutes at the start of the film.

    Ken Ebbage