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Before the Flood



By: Alberto Sclaverano


DiCaprio's Environmental-Themed Documentary Leaves an Indelible Impact


The 2016 documentary, Before the Flood, is more than just another environmental documentary. Spearheaded by the acclaimed actor and director Fisher Stevens, this film serves as Leonardo DiCaprio's passionate call to action in the face of an escalating climate crisis. DiCaprio is the film's narrator and co-producer, along with renowned names like Brett Ratner and executive producer Martin Scorsese. Before the Flood captivates viewers with its powerful message and unyielding determination to combat environmental degradation.

Unlike many documentaries that solely present the facts, Before the Flood infuses personal experiences into its narrative. DiCaprio takes center stage, appearing in nearly every shot as he engages in conversations with both notable figures and ordinary individuals. The film documents his globe-spanning journey over the course of three years, shedding light on the devastating consequences of climate change. Through the use of compelling visuals, intricate models, and informative discussions, DiCaprio masterfully illustrates the current and future realities of our deteriorating planet.


From the outset, Before the Flood establishes its credibility by showcasing DiCaprio's speech at the United Nations after he was appointed as a United Nations messenger of peace for climate change. This pivotal moment allowed him to engage with influential leaders, including the former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon. The documentary delves into a range of pressing topics, from the alarming melting of the Arctic Pole to the far-reaching ramifications of rampant pollution. DiCaprio's interviews with respected scientists serve to reinforce the urgency of the climate crisis, revealing the imminent point of no return.

What sets Before the Flood apart is its audacious approach to directly confronting climate change deniers, even those occupying prominent positions within society. Backed by DiCaprio's name, influence, and the star-studded lineup of contributors, the documentary fearlessly exposes the detrimental impact of certain interest groups. DiCaprio openly discusses the negative influence of entities such as the Koch Brothers, the fossil fuel industry, and segments of the conservative press, including the Wall Street Journal. These players have historically impeded legislative progress required to tackle the climate crisis, disseminating misinformation, and attempting to discredit scientific findings.


DiCaprio's narration throughout the film is underpinned by a palpable sense of urgency, emphasizing the impending catastrophe that awaits if immediate action is not taken. The rapid depletion of resources and the relentless rise in Earth's average temperature pose a grave threat, endangering countless animal and plant species. Before the Flood's content and themes may not be ground-breaking, but it is DiCaprio's aggressive yet meticulously data-driven approach that lends the documentary its distinctive edge. The film avoids becoming a mere source of entertainment by balancing cinematic allure with scientific rigor. Some of its visuals, particularly those captured in developing countries, elicit a profound sense of disturbance, creating a visually immersive and emotionally poignant experience.

While there has been skepticism surrounding the genuine commitment of celebrities to environmental causes, DiCaprio's unwavering dedication to this urgent matter is evident. With decades of climate activism under his belt, Before the Flood stands as his most intricate and comprehensive endeavor in the fight against the climate crisis. When influential and revered figures like DiCaprio align themselves with such critical issues, their involvement becomes indispensable. Given the gravity of the situation, every ally holds the potential to be a catalyst in the battle against climate change.


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