England, 2008, 89 minutes
Sun, May 3 / 6:30 / Kabuki / AGE03K
Mon, May 4 / 3:00 / Kabuki / AGE04K
Tue, May 5 / 6:15 / Kabuki / AGE05K
Cartoonist Walt Kelly first used the phrase, “We have met the enemy and he is us,” on a poster for Earth Day 1970. Eighty-five years later, a survivor on our dying planet echoes that refrain, but with less irony and far more urgency. In the year 2055, a man called the Archivist (Pete Postlethwaite) pores through a limitless digital video library in a storage tower high above the stinking brown desolation, wondering why humankind failed to respond to the myriad signs of climate change. He hones in on the late ’00s—as in, right friggin’ now—when records show a rapidly approaching tipping point that will spell doom for our short-sighted species. The footage unearthed by the Archivist turns out to be real-life interviews conducted by filmmaker Franny Armstrong (Drowned Out, SFIFF 2003). Blending these verité stories with cutting-edge graphics and a pinch of gallows humor, Armstrong delivers a cautionary, pre-apocalyptic documentary that succeeds in piercing our complacency to a degree matched only, perhaps, by An Inconvenient Truth. In an earlier time, we would have rooted for Mumbai entrepreneur Jeh Wadia, launching a discount airline he hopes will lift the masses out of overcrowded trains. But it’s hard not to think of jet emissions as we watch French mountain guide Fernand Pareau gaze mournfully down on the glacier that has shrunk 150 meters in his lifetime. Meanwhile, British wind farm developer Piers Guy faces the nebulous yet powerful forces of property values and inertia. The Age of Stupid is a potent testament that we are all in this together, and it’s time to hurry up and get smart.
Presented in association with Climate Change Education.Org. GGA Documentary Feature Contender. North American Premiere.