Narrated and produced by actor Leonardo DiCaprio, The 11th Hour seeks to raise awareness of the depleted state of the earth’s natural environment. It explores how we have arrived at this state by looking at the way we live, our impact on the earth’s ecosystems and what we can do to reverse the trend. The film features interviews with prominent scientists, politicians and activists including physicist Stephen Hawking, former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, and Noble Prize-winning environmentalist Wangari Maathai.
The 11th Hour emphasises the fact that our way of life is not sustainable for the planet. It begins by showing apocalyptic scenes of deadly hurricanes, floods, and forest fires. It then scrutinises how we got to this condition, highlighting our reliance on fossil fuels as the main cause, and demonstrates the deterioration of our ecosystem: global warming, soil erosion, deforestation, air and water pollution, extinction of species, etc.
The film goes beyond merely pointing out problems and offers practical solutions. We hear from two architects about how we can construct self-sustaining ‘green’ buildings that would function on solar energy and consume their own waste. New homes could use solar panels for lighting, heating and cooling. It calls on us to restore the earth by transforming human activity through social responsibility and reshaping technology.
The film ends with a message of hope and a call to action: It is not too late to save our planet, but time is running out and we must act now. Overall, The 11th Hour is an excellent insight into the politics, technology, consequences of human behaviour, the desire and methods to fix the environmental mess humans have created.