Think green, act green. How? Just watch the film directed by Fisher Stevens, co-produced and narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio. In this insightful documentary, the actor and appointed United Nations representative on climate change, shows us an overview of one of the major issues of our time: global warming.

The documentary starts with a work of Hieronymus Bosch called The Garden of Earthly Delights, which DiCaprio describes as an analogy of what could happen if we don’t take action. This analogy is valid in all its proportions. As he develops a story mainly centred on the meaning of global warming, the narration moves from basic facts related to this issue to more abstract ideas that are explained through simple and visual examples.

In DiCaprio’s journey to get to know how far we have come and whether we can do anything about this problem, the actor takes the viewer all over the world. He travels to India, China, Canada, the Poles, Argentina, U.S., and many more, looking for answers. In these places, he talks with an astronaut, scientists, activists, entrepreneurs, diplomats, and politicians such as the American president (Obama) and John Kerry, who give him straightforward answers to his simple but urgent questions.

The documentary is told from ground zero. By this I mean that you don’t have to know about the topic, the film explains it all. From horrifying images of natural and man-made environmental disasters to magnificent and stunning pictures of our world, Before the Flood covers a vast majority of sub-topics concerned with global warming. This gives the film nuance, more depth, and a serious tone. This is not just a documentary by a famous American actor, it’s a call for action.

It is not until the end, that the double message of the film is fully unfolded.  Although the core message of this documentary is to take action, the film is aimed towards the U.S. population and the people that still don’t believe in global warming. As, according to the documentary, actions can be taken by choosing the right leaders who will protect and help to heal our planet. And yes, the film was released before the elections, with DiCaprio’s attempt to raise awareness of global warming. Thus, connoting support for the candidate who doesn’t believe that global warming is a hoax made up by the Chinese (whose government is actually trying to encourage the use of green and renewable energy).

What is interesting about this film, is not all the information it presents (as people interested in global warming already know several of the facts that are depicted), but that it provides solutions. DiCaprio’s film offers solutions on all levels, as he addresses what we can do as consumers, and what big companies can do. What starts as a hopeless future in DiCaprio’s eyes, ends as a much more positive resolution, in which the power lies within the people and the actions that we take. Now, it’s time to do something before the flood comes and it becomes too late.

What can we do to help our planet? For that answer, you have to watch the film.


Full film:

Image: Screenshot Before the Flood – DiCaprio discussing with director Alejandro González Iñárritu about the relocation of the film The Revenant (2015) due to global warming.

Special thanks to Nastassia who made it possible to watch this informative documentary on the big screen.