Editor’s Notes: Time to Choose is currently out in limited theatrical release.
Time to choose is a 2016 documentary directed by Academy award winning filmmaker Charles Ferguson (Inside Job, No End in Sight). It is a comprehensive study of the global impact of climate change and the ways it can be contained.
Narrated by actor Oscar Isaac, the film takes you on a globe-trotting journey that documents how humans are contributing to the climate change. The film is divided into 3 parts – coal and electricity, oil and cars, land and food respectively. Alternative energy sources – solar, wind – previously thought to be ineffective for mass production due to high costs of manufacturing, are now poised to be the way of the future. With the advancement in technology, in the near future most of these energy resources will directly be in competition with fossil fuels in the market, hopefully resulting in changes in our lifestyle, in manufacturing processes, and in stopping the rising temperatures of our planet. Providing examples of existing societies that have converted into environmental-friendly urban spaces, the film is an attempt in telling us that the solution is at our hands, depending on our choices.
. . . a comprehensive study of the global impact of climate change and the ways it can be contained.
Written by Chad beck and Charles Ferguson as well, with research by Emily Searles, Time to choose has some refined cinematography and sound track intermingling with interviews. No camera shakes, no guerrilla shots, no gritty or raw images, no hurried exposé, we are taken through this journey of Mother Nature’s destruction slow motion style with contemporary tumblr-esque visuals. Major portions of the film have been dedicated towards aerial and wide shots, with special attention given to framing. A spunkier narrative might have complemented the urgency of the crisis situation. The visuals are placid, smooth, even when displaying worrying imagery – almost as if to signal the calm before the storm. The wonderful urban overlays in the visuals add to the charm of the film.
Five years after the Inside Job, Charles Ferguson is back and how. The filmmaker, working on two other documentaries involving Julian Assange and Hillary Clinton prior to this (that eventually didn’t get made), continues to tackle fairly troubling and eye-opening subjects often involving the U.S. government. Mr Ferguson’s interviews often tend to ask uncomfortable questions, and this film highlights a connection between politics and energy conglomerates who fund them. This is suspected to be the major reason why the law makers are overlooking climate change, with some even outright denying it. We have a pressing need for such films and content, the kind that ask questions that demand accountability and questions that can result in a change.
Though the objective of this documentary might be a ‘been there, done that, has been’, this film is a 2016 updated version of what’s happening globally regarding global warming . . .
Statistics in the film claim we are not far away from an advanced, modernised environment with clean energy. Yet, in spite of the technology available to us, the rampant environmental abuse is perplexing. From an intervention in the grass root level to changes in the bureaucracy, curbing climate change needs to be a priority for nations. Though the objective of this documentary might be a ‘been there, done that, has been’, this film is a 2016 updated version of what’s happening globally regarding global warming, and how far we have come in terms of finding a solution to this problem.
Lacklustre narration may make it hard to retain some interest in the otherwise powerful content.