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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.

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