Last Updated: August 21, 2007By Tags: ,

(BY ALI NADERZAD) Posters, banners and ads everywhere beckon: the 11th hour is here. The documentary on the state of our planet has finally gotten its wide release after screenings took place in Cannes this past May. But can Leonardo DiCaprio, who co-directed 11th hour with Leila Conners-Petersen and Nadia Conners, be trusted to be a genuine spokesperson of the green movement? I say yes, yes and yes. I heard him speak at the press conference at the Cannes Festival, DiCaprio held his own like a prince even as some hostile journalist from the UK took a swing “Congratulations for completing this important project, but how did you get here, by private jet?” DiCaprio maintained his cool, barely scoffing at the implication (“yea, right, I took the train here, from the U.S,” which drew laughs from the audience) to later come back to the vindictive reporter, holding forth on the need to not judge or censure so freely. To paraphrase DiCaprio further, everyone is responsible for contributing to this cause in whichever way they can, and noone is perfect. Judging by the booing and jeering directed at the lone gunner, DiCaprio had the last word. And, finally, about the film itself. It seems that the debate begun by the 11th hour might supersede the film, which is perhaps as gratifying, though likely not to the directors. Among other docs of the same ilk, 11th hour hardly captivates, unfortunately. The parading nature images are reminiscent of a Discovery Channel special and the testimonials hardly convey urgency. Of some interest are the testimony-givers, however. Mikhail Gorbachev and Stephen Hawking, among others, agreed to weigh in on the environmental issues at stake here: species extinction, global warming, and the responsibilities behooving governments. © 2007 Ali Naderzad