November 5 2016

Your Weekend Viewing Guide…A Review of Leonardo DiCaprio’s Before the Flood


Opinions expressed are the opinions of the author.  Today, it is safe to say that most people believe in or acknowledge the existence of Global Warming.

Personally, there is no doubt in my mind that Global Warming is real. The science is there (and as a Creative Writing & Screenwriting major, I don’t always side with science). The evidence is there, and the gradual decaying of our planet as a result of our lifestyle is becoming scarily less gradual and far more rapid.

However, it is no longer simply an issue of whether Global Warming exists or not – it is now an issue of acting on what we see and believe and hear, and hoping (with everything we have) that we haven’t hit this realization too late.

Just a few days ago, the National Geographic in combination with Leonardo DiCaprio released the highly anticipated documentary Before the Flood. And as an avid DiCaprio fan as well as someone who no longer eats animal products and is far too concerned with our earth’s wellbeing – I had to watch it.

Now, I have to preface this article with a slight disclaimer – Before the Flood is not the only documentary to exist on climate change, and nor is it, in my opinion, the number one. There are a whole range of incredible documentaries that exist out there that touch on topics of importance and show footage that’s frightening.

But the best thing about this particular film is not only its modernity, but its approachability – this documentary, Before the Flood is an amazing introduction into environmentalism and ecological awareness. It is holistic in its coverage, accessible in its dialogue and relevant in its interviews.

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Before the Flood has, however, received plenty of criticism. The fact that is it in part made and entirely narrated by a major league celebrity has opened the floodgates for critique (no pun intended). Many people and platforms are accusing DiCaprio of being a naive Hollywood actor who doesn’t know what he’s talking about – and perhaps they’re right, perhaps not. He may not have a degree, but he’s certainly passionate and invested in activism. However, either way, none of the scientific claims made through this film are made by DiCaprio – he interviews people who are appropriately qualified, travels to places to get firsthand experience and firsthand footage, and asks relevant questions to translate otherwise academic jargon into everyday language.

You can watch Before the Flood online for free here, and if you want to explore further, I recommend Cowspiracy and Years of Living Dangerously.

Remember – it’s one thing to watch and listen and a whole other thing to engage and change. Judge yourself based on what you do, not what you say you’ll do.

We can all make a difference, and it starts with a choice to change.

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