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SO WHY DOESN'T INCONVENIENT TRUTH PROVIDE MORE POLICY PROPOSALS?: Director Says Goal Was to Persuade and Mobilize; Policy Proposals Would Constitute a Second Film

June 28, 2006, 7:50 AM
One of the critiques of Inconvenient Truth that has emerged is that Gore spends a lot of time warning viewers about global warming, but strays from actually providing concrete suggestions for policy action. Some have argued that this reflects his eye on the Presidential race in 2008, and that candidate Gore wants to avoid locking himself into costly policy proposals that might lose certain key constituencies or that might be used as fodder by opponents.

But in an extensive interview, Inconvenient Truth director Davis Guggenheim tells a different side.
The main goal of the movie was to raise awareness, and to convince viewers that global warming is an overwhelming problem. With persuasion and mobilization the theme, Guggenheim says that there just wasn't enough time to go into policy angles, insisting that to do so might constitute a whole second film. (Could Inconvenient Truth: The Sequel be in the works?)

From the interview:

[DG: We spent a lot of time worrying about how much of the film should be giving practical solutions, and we realized that if you were to really get into that in depth it would be a whole 'nother film. As you know, it's very - you could spend 15 minutes on carbon capture and sequestration - on conservation - it's such a huge topic. We felt that the biggest step - and the biggest service we could do was to give people an experience where they 1) understand that global warming is real. There's a large amount of people who think it's kinda real, they're not sure, they're heard about some controversy, but they don't really get it. And then, if they get that its real, you really explain to them that it's urgent. That we're causing it and that it's urgent - that we have to do something about it now. I imagine that a lot of people in your community already get that, but I think we need - we need to change the minds of most of Americans who don't get it. Including people like myself - who are well read, I'm a Democrat -people who read and are reasonable people, but if they see the argument put in front of them their minds are changed. So that's the first step. I'd love to do a movie about all the practical things you can do, but I just didn't think it was time for it. And certainly there's our website - it leads people to places. I don't think we leave people dangling.]

Guggenheim, however, seems to assume that the film will reach a diverse, mass audience, beyond just the already concerned, convinced, and active on the issue. That remains to be seen. As I've written, most of these politically-themed movies have a very strong self-selection draw, and it is likely that on average, Republicans and the GW-disinterested will not go to the movie.


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