It only seems natural that after so many years of putting pollutants into the atmosphere, that we would eventually be held accountable for such an aberrant act of negligence and a blatant global disregard for the potential after-effects. All of a sudden, the nature of our eco system is in apparent danger, and all of the Earth’s inhabitants face possible extinction. Of course, this didn’t happen ‘all of a sudden’ but it sure seems that way. Not 5 years ago, many politicos and their advisors ranted against such a probability, whereas now it is an essential part of the political forum throughout the world. But, back when we began to abuse the ecology of our planet, had we but thought about the effects of pouring vast amounts of harmful particulates into the air, amongst other damaging things, we might be in a better position to avert a looming massive catastrophe.
Not surprisingly, after Al Gore’s eye-opening film, An Inconvenient Truth, there arose several films to add to the awareness of the endgame possibilities. The Leonardo DiCaprio-narrated The 11th Hour is one of the more visible showcases peppered with dialogues with former Soviet head, Mikhail Gorbachev, science wunderkind, Stephen Hawking, and other experts of the subject of returning to a sustainable state. With many catastrophic events within our globe – record setting droughts and rainfalls, noticeable weather pattern changes, and flooding – all happening within a short framework of time, it is necessary that the urgency of our tenuous situation be thoroughly reviewed and completely scrutinized to allow us an edge on solving this issue and moving into our children’s futures.
The soundtrack for the film is a collection of stimulating songs from various artists who play in a cinematic style. Beginning with Arve Henriksen , who creates a short piece that is oriental in sound, with an eerie chant, and an excellent opener before music from Dirty Three is begun,followed by a poignant piece from Deaf Center, several atmospheric Sigur Ros tracks, an always welcomed Cocteau Twins song from their Treasure (1984) album, a building Mogwai perfection, and a closer piece from Lukas Haas (“Kemp”). There are a few more excellent songs in the set.
The music of The 11th Hour is elegant, if not dark in manner. But this is a dark subject and the music fits the film perfectly. The CD collection of music works wonderfully away from the film, whether you’ve seen it or not. If you had, the music easily brings back to memory the snippets they accompany making the import of the film longer lasting. If you haven’t seen the documentary, this collection of songs is a great ambient set to ease the day with. If I have a complaint, it is that the CD is not adequately supplied with a bigger booklet with which to educate further. Instead, the booklet is a meager 4-page insert with little other than the obligatory track listings, more an afterthought than anything else.