THE 11th HOUR: Be the Change

by , 08/28/07

11th hour, the 11th hour, leonardo dicaprio, nadia conners, leila conners petersen, movie, filmmaking, documentary, global warming

For those of you looking for some end-of-summer cinema, the most important film to go see in the next few weeks is The 11th Hour, a global warming documentary produced and narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio and directed by Nadia Conners and Leila Conners Petersen. The film – which just recently opened in your local cineplex to great reviews – is a moving look at the world’s contemporary environmental crisis, and a rousing call-to-action to try to stop global warming before it is too late.

Sort of a companion piece to last year’s academy award winner, An Inconvenient Truth, the 11th Hour is a call to arms for all of us to stop climate change. The 11th hour is based on the premise that this is literally the last possible moment in which we can act to save the world. The movie offers insights and interviews with policy experts, scientists and sustainable design experts such as perennial Inhabitat favourites William McDonough and Bruce Mau.

Unlike An Inconvenient Truth, which was essentially a global primer on climate change, the 11th Hour filmmakers try to present their experiences in finding out how we had arrive at this moment, and how to best prevent the catastrophe in a way that makes the audience feel like they can be part of the same journey.

“We ourselves wanted to understand why humans were on a crash course with nature, and what we had to do to change course,” says Co-Writer/Co-Director/Producer Leila Conners Petersen. Her sister and collaborator, Nadia Conners, adds, “One of the great things about doing this project was being able to meet people that inspired me or opened my mind through their work and writings. It was a great honor and a huge learning experience.”

Don’t forget to visit the film’s website for information on the film and what you can do to take action and save the world. And make sure to read Inhabitat’s Green Building 101 guide for some simple steps that will help you reduce your energy footprint and improve your health and the environment.

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  1. G Monkey September 5, 2007 at 3:58 pm

    If you are interested in learning more about the 11th Hour and the people behind the film, check out the full coverage on We where lucky enough to be invited to site down with the experts in the film at the 11th Hour after party.

  2. dianejwright August 29, 2007 at 5:11 pm

    Hi all. I’d also like to urge you to go see this film. These are good people who devote their lives to improving environmental conditions for us all and who made this film because the medium is one of the best ways to raise awareness we have. I have great respect for Nadia, Leila, and their collaborator friends and family ( and can tell you that they’re doing the work they do because of deep and informed concern for where we’re headed. You all know how the box office works. If you’re going to see a film this week or weekend, if you make it this one, your vote will be counted towards (hopefully) migrating the movie inland where it can have great effect. Gore’s film has made a difference in our world; let’s keep the wheels turning.

  3. Christopher P. August 29, 2007 at 3:45 pm

    I have worked with TreeMedia on other environmental actions, and I would strongly suggest to Michael and others that one check out the backers of documentary enterprises before editorializing. Granted Mr. di Caprio is known for his good looks and boxoffice draw — not bad attributes for a documentary “talking head”! But he also brings something inside that head to the table, and has been busy organizing communities of interest committed to alleviating the human misery brought about by various economic imperialisms, ultranationalism and xenophobia. The central message of “The 11th Hour” is that presently, North America and Western Europe alone, through the end of the 20th century, were consuming planetary resources at a rate that could only sustain a world population of 500 million or so people, at a moment when there are over 10 times that many people on the planet. WE need to avoid extinction (we wouldn’t be the first species to overpopulate the Malthusian petrie dish) . WE need to “soften the landing”of the ecological “smack down” WE face, for as many as possible without resorting to a proliferation of genocidal wars, that, in the END, only exacerbate the communal problems we face as a specie. WE must work together through more peaceful collaborative means, and continue to instill that frugal ethic in our children, so that WE leave them cultures and ecosystems worth inheriting.

  4. Abi August 29, 2007 at 8:34 am

    I think that important thing in response to DiCaprio’s film and the reactions it might illicit, is to do away with the very human tendency to be polarized on the issues. This sort of adamant ‘taking sides’ is what has gotten us into trouble (environmentally) in the first place. What The 11th Hour does a great job of doing is introducing a global audience to an amazing team of people who are working diligently (and often with out star-studded recognition) to make a difference in the campaign to combat global warming. You can view the amazing roster here: . For some this might be old news, but for many this is their first exposure to the experts and their ideas. As a former documentary fundraiser and researcher, I think that it is important for folks to know how often money from the commercial (Hollywood) side slips into the camp of documentarians who just want to get their film made and their vital story told. Any time spent at film festivals will demonstrate this as evidence that we are all in it together and reliant upon one another to share resources.

  5. Marianna August 28, 2007 at 9:38 pm

    Michael, give the guy a break. He’s not preaching to “us”, he’s preaching to those who don’t know. And for all you know he helps to reduce the footprint of the Hollywood and location sets. Ever think that people when you try to inform others about being eco-friendly they think, “Hey that’s Michael on his soap box preaching to the little people again!” Peace.

  6. Michael August 28, 2007 at 7:26 pm

    FACT: Hollywood movie studio’s are the 2nd LARGEST contributers of carbon dioxide’s (CO2) in Los Angeles.
    We don’t need another documentary (via) An Inconvenient Truth, we need action. Leonardo DiCaprio makes millions of dollars a year while filming his Hollywood produced movies realeasing “tons” of CO2 into the atmosphere. Now he is bored and wants to preach the good word from “his soap box” to us, “the little people”…

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