“We’re at a point in world history where there is unrest,” Al Gore said tonight at the Sundance Film Festival’s screening of An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power. “This movie gives me an extra burst of hope,” the former Vice President added to a packed Eccles Theater sounding like the politician he used to be. “We’re going to win this.”
“I try to protect the confidence of that conversation in case I need to have a couple more,” Gore noted of the face-to-face he had with Donald Trump after the election last year. “Over the years there are a lot of people who started out as deniers and changes over time, whether he will remains to be seen.” Gore said of his hope for the ex-Celebrity Apprentice host, while lamenting the Republican’s choice of a climate change denier to to head the EPA.
“The will to act itself is a renewable resource,” Gore asserted to applause. “No one person can stop this progress.” Although he campaigned for Hillary Clinton during the race for the White House, Gore met publicly with Trump in NYC in December. The man who would have been the 43rd POTUS has said since that he has privately chatted with the climate change skeptic about to be 45th POTUS as well.
The star attraction of the opening night of the Park City-based cinema shindig, the former Veep was speaking at the world premiere of the film directed by Bonnie Cohen and Jon Shenk. After its three more Sundance screenings, the geopolitical climate change film from Participant Media is set to go into general release via Paramount on July 28.
Of course, as has been the case for much of Sundance 2017’s first official day, the topic of Trump’s about to happen Presidency was on the top of mind. Although in many ways, the night before the ex-Celebrity Apprentice frontman’s inauguration was also a homecoming of sorts for the man who won the popular vote in the 2000 election. An Inconvenient Truth debuted at Sundance 11 years ago and went on to win the Oscar as well as secure the former VP a Nobel Prize in 2007.
“Al Gore is a very good friend of mine,” said Robert Redford introducing the SFF alum’s film at the start of the 33rd Sundance. “We’ve been friends for many years.”
“There was a moment a few years ago when the Supreme Court wasn’t very kind to Al Gore,” the Presidential Medal of Freedom winner added, noting the loss of the White House gave Gore a new onscreen career “out of politics and into film has let him play both sides of the street.”
Starting off with a chorus of pundits ridiculing Gore, a Trump name-drop and the ex-VP testifying before Congress in 2007, Inconvenient Sequel locks into the 2015 Paris Climate Conference and the evolution of the former candidate’s message. At one point, in words that have added poignancy now, Gore equates the climate crisis with “the democracy crisis,” as he terms it. “Our democracy has been hacked,” Gore says.
With cameos from President Barack Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Indian PM Narendra Modi and Canadian PM Justin Trudeau, among many world leaders, and a harsh Trump via TV appearances, the film paints a very stark portrait of a world on the brink. Inconvenient Sequel ends after last year’s election with Gore going to Trump Tower and a passionate advocacy of environmental change.
The globe-trotting An Inconvenient Sequel is produced by Richard Berge and Diane Weyermann and EP’s by Jeff Skoll, Inconvenient Truth director Davis Guggenheim, Lawrence Bender, Laurie David, Scott Z. Burns, and Lesley Chilcott — many of whom were onstage with Gore after the film tonight.