The Age of Stupid Review

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A variety of interweaving narratives connected by the theme of the explotation of the Oil Business, overseen by an old man in 2055, despairing of early 21st century policies.


This began life as crude, Franny ‘McLibel’ Armstrong’s attempt to follow Soderbergh’s Traffic interlocking-story template to document the oil trade. It was rethought as a climate-change docudrama, adding Pete Postlethwaite as an old man in a ravaged 2055 looking back over his archives, grumpily jabbing at a touchscreen and asking, “Why didn’t we do something about this when we had the chance?”

It’s a shame, because the Postlethwaite scenes jar and interrupt the most interesting bits: the Nigerian woman’s life devastated by Shell; the wind-turbine salesman battling Nimbyist England; the Katrina survivor. The aim is to scare us into activism — better done if Armstrong had trusted her instincts and left out the sci-fi.

Although interesting in its content, this could have worked better as a straight documentary.