Before The Flood – Dir Fisher Stevens

Narrated by : Leonardo DiCaprio

Not going to lie, I picked this one because of Leo. I’ll watch the doc at home, but how often does Leo come to TO. The premier was not premium priced, so no skin off my wallet. I was also curious to see what was taking so long to put this film together.  The best part of seeing this film was experiencing Leo’s biggest fan’s exhuberance, friend Andrea below.  She managed to meet him and get an autograph on her Catch Me If You Can DVD.  I also had an opportunity to share my extra ticket with a work colleague and TIFF newbie, Eddie, who got to experience the TIFF trifecta – Superstar – Premier – Q&A, and now he’s hooked on TIFF!

Back to the film itself, the best part of the film for me was the tie in to Hieronymus Bosch’s triptych “The Garden of Earthly Delights” which apparently hung above Leo’s crib as a child.  This very detailed three paneled painting shows three worlds, the first a world of bliss, second a world of over-indulgence, and the third showing the hellish result of the second.  Quite a terrifying visual for a developing young mind, and Bosch’s prophecy has been a very important influence for DiCaprio.

The film seemed solid.  It covers a number of environmental concerns fairly well.  I am not a scientist, nor have I had time to study the film’s claims in detail to identify falsehoods or far reaches. Leo does not play the role of expert but rather concerned questioning citizen, which most viewers will relate to.

Leo is being criticized by some for his own hypocracy and inconsistent practices ( private planes, investments, etc).  There is a point in the film where he admits he needs to decrease his footprint, and I hope he does.  Most of all I hope the film reaches people who are otherwise unaware of the issues, that it compels people to do their own research and come to informed conclusions.

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