Climate Change or How Not to Become a Revenant

Leonardo Dicaprio’s new documentary Before the Flood is a must watch for the Russian audience, and it will only be streamed for free through 6 November in Russian, English and many other languages. Climate-change scientists have found that Russia has been warming 2.5 times faster than any average country in the world, with its temperature rising by almost 0.5 degree Celsius per decade

Let’s just admit that DiCaprio has done it again: his name re-appeared in all major news headlines and social media platforms. This time, however, everything is different with no bears-in-the-woods being involved, no Oscars and no more struggle for life, at least not in the fictional or cinematic sense. This time, the struggle is actually real, especially in a country like Russia.

The Academy Award-winning actor, famous for his roles in such Hollywood movies as Titanic, Inception, The Wolf of Wall Street and The Revenant, as well as an environmental activist and UN messenger of peace, Leonardo DiCaprio produced and starred in a National Geographic’s climate-change documentary.

Before the Flood was released less than a week ago, but has already more than 30 million viewers across the world who watched it either entirely or at least in part via social media, namely YouTube. This is a record breaking number for a documentary since 2000, especially for a National Geographic film. It has been recognised as the most broadly distributed programme the network has ever released.

It began in 2014, when DiCaprio called the documentarian Fisher Stevens with the idea to collaborate on a project that would find the causes and effects of climate change around the world.

“Time is not a luxury we have”, said DiCaprio in one of his interviews. “Our natural world is quickly nearing unprecedented, irreversible and catastrophic change that threatens the very future of humankind. I didn’t want the film to scare people, or present them with statistics and facts that they already know, but to focus on what can and must be done immediately so that we can leave our planet a livable home for future generations. We are quickly running out of time.”

The US elections also played a big role in the film-makers’s decision to make Before the Flood, and to release it by the fall of 2016, although it was difficult for DiCaprio since he had a busy filming schedule for Alejandro Iñárritu’s The Revenant.

However prior to the US elections, there is another historical date that many are unaware of, and it is directly related to the documentary. It is today—4 November 2016— the day the Paris Agreement enters into force. United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) published a video in which Ban Ki-moon calls for climate action, calling it “historic for people and the planet.”

“When Fisher and I set out on this journey, we wanted to make a film that presented audiences not just with the alarming facts about climate change and the environmental crisis it has created — but one that also showed the solutions we have within our power, right now, to drive lasting change for the future,” said DiCaprio in a recent interview.

“With the election in the United States only a few months away, we sought to make sure that voters know this could be the last chance we have before it is too late to elect leaders who believe in science, and who have the courage and understanding to make headway on the environment a real priority.”

Will American voters change their preferences just by watching this documentary?

It is hard not to believe Leonardo DiCaprio, especially when he sounds so convincing. The one-and-a-half-hour film includes interviews with the most prominent world figures starting from the 45th US president Barack Obama, to Pope Francis, as well as some incredibly shot footages.

Also the fact that Stevens and DiCaprio embarked on a two-year production process that took them to Europe, Asia, Africa, North and South America, Australia and the Arctic, shows how thoroughly the project has been worked on to send a very clear message to the masses.

For now, everyone can watch it for free on YouTube and on the National Geographic website. But hurry, because free viewing will only be available until 6 November.

Title: Before the Flood
Date: 30 October, 2016
Genre: Documentary (National Geography)
Director: Fisher Stevens
Producer: Leonardo DiCaprio
Stars: Barack Obama, Elon Musk, Pope Francis, Bill Clinton, John Kerry, Leonardo DiCaprio
Duration: 96 minutes
Country: USA

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