Craig Rosebraugh’s docu “Greedy, Lying Bastards” covers ground well-traveled by environmental exposes from “An Inconvenient Truth” to “The Island President.” Rosebraugh, however, focuses less on the issue of global warming itself and more on the deniers and their big-money backers. He scores points by contrasting his film’s emotional title with the temperate rationality of his talking-head scientists. But the film’s effectiveness largely stems from the flat-out lameness of the opposition arguments, the lack of scientific credentials of those making them, and the self-interest of their corporate bosses. Bowing in limited release, “Bastards” turns up the heat on the issue.
Opening on cellphone footage of the devastating fire in Colorado’s Waldo Canyon and interviews with families whose homes were incinerated, Rosebraugh frames the disaster’s global scope in easily identifiable terms. The helmer, excerpting denials from a rogues’ gallery of professional naysayers, offers prompt rebuttals with apocalyptic images of fire, drought, floods and hurricanes. “Bastards” squarely places the blame for the defeat of all measures to ward off worldwide disaster on the fossil fuel conglomerates, willing to sacrifice long-term survival for short-term profits.