Review: ‘Revolution’

The tousled-hipster persona of Rob Stewart isn't going to help anyone take his eco-doc "Revolution" very seriously, and neither are Stewart's pie-in-the-sky prognostications about "the youth" somehow reversing the devastating environmental trends he outlines in the film's first 30 minutes.

The tousled-hipster persona of Rob Stewart isn’t going to help anyone take his eco-doc “Revolution” very seriously, and neither are Stewart’s pie-in-the-sky prognostications about “the youth” somehow reversing the devastating environmental trends he outlines in the film’s first 30 minutes. This colorful and oh-so-crunchy tour of scorched coral reefs, tar-sand swamps and incinerated rain forests is rich in information and earnestness, but is too Canadian to make the transition Stateside, especially with all the similar competition.

Like other well-intentioned docus on pollution, global warming and decimated wildlife, “Revolution” misses the point: The green movement that matters is the flow of cash into political coffers. One gets the feeling, watching the stunning landscapes, that the money spent making the film might have better gone toward electing sympathetic people to positions where they could implement environmentally sound policies. As it is, Stewart’s film, which shifts gears into a more optimistic direction midway through in an attempt to keep viewers from slitting their wrists, feels like a sop to those who really don’t want to know about depleted oceans, and aren’t likely to see the movie anyway.

Revolution

Documentary - Canada

Production

A Foundation Features/D Films/Sharkwater presentation of a Revolutionary Films production of a Diatribe Picture. Produced by Rob Stewart. Executive producers, Rob Merilees, Brian Stewart, Sandy Campbell, David Hannan. Co-producer, Warren Needler. Directed, written by Rob Stewart.

Crew

Camera (color), Stewart; editor, Eammon O'Connor, Becky Hunter, Stewart; music, Jeff Rona; music supervisor, Duncan Forbes; art director, Stewart; supervising sound editor, Kevin Howard; re-recording mixers, Daniel Pellerin, Matthew Chan; associate producers, Tyler MacLeod, Amber Ripley, Jennifer Zabawa. Reviewed at Toronto Film Festival (TIFF Docs), Sept. 13, 2012. Running time: 86 MIN.

With

Rob Stewart, Boris Worm, Katharina Fabricius, Charlie Veron, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Van Jones, Peter Knights, Lester Brown.

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