Originally published on metropolis.co.jp on March 2010

©Spanner Films

I’ve always thought one of the green movement’s best tag lines was, “Be a better ancestor.” Well, this sarcastically titled film by Franny Armstrong posits that if we don’t each smarten up and reduce our carbon footprints—and soon—we won’t even have any descendents to be ancestors to. Pete Postlethwaite, circa 2055, is the curator of an archive of all human knowledge in a now-melted Arctic. He runs us through a few (real) newsreel clips from our present day (see title), when humanity had a chance to save itself, but didn’t bother. A well-meaning Indian entrepreneur starts up a low-cost airline (air travel is apparently one of the worst offenders). A British wind-farm developer is frustrated by his neighbors’ opposition (spoils the view, you know). A Nigerian woman envisions becoming a doctor amid a landscape ravaged by Shell Oil. Harsher and more alarming than An Inconvenient Truth, the film forcibly makes the point that if we don’t reduce carbon emissions enough to avoid a mere two-degree increase in temperatures, we will reach a tipping point after which global warming will be impossible to reverse. And that tipping point is 2015. Have a nice day.