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:: The Age Of Stupid

‘The Age Of Stupid’ is a documentary that really could have become a very important film. In a lot of ways the stories of climate change found here is more confronting then anything Al Gore has ever done, but unfortunately the director’s style of filmmaking lets down the whole film.

Director, Franny Armstrong chooses to present these confronting truths in the style of a doco-drama. The year is 2050 and an Archivist (Pete Postlethwaite) has collected little bits of the Earth’s history and is keeping them at a storage facility in the Arctic. He scans over past information to work out whether there was a chance to stop the world from being destroyed by climate change. As he does he finds various pieces of information including an oil company destroying an African country and a township in England who may support ‘anything they can do to help prevent climate change’ but then stand in the way of a wind farm being built in the area.

Some of the factual-stories shown in ‘The Age Of Stupid’ are confronting and to be frank quite scary. Seeing two children from Iraq be turned from ‘friends of America’ to ‘enemies from America’ due to the treatment of their family from U.S. soldiers really shows a side of the war on terror that few would have seen before. Likewise the footage of how an oil company has failed to keep its promises to an African nation and are now slowly strangling the country is compelling viewing, and you could actually see this doco causing some people to want to and go out and do something about this ‘age of stupid.’

But its here where the doco shoots itself in the foot. The whole ‘The Archivist’ storyline steals the power of the doco-footage away from the finished product. Some of the graphics look amateurish and while the constant bombardment of little snippets of the information seems to be the ‘MTV Generations’ way of presenting docos it can grow on the nerves of the audience.

‘The Age Of Stupid’ is a very powerful doco indeed, and it certainly is important for people to have access to this information… I’m just not convinced that the way this information is processed here is the right way to have done it.