An Inconvenient Truth - Al Gore

Documentaries have the specific intent of conveying a reality to an audience, promoting certain actions or responses. Davis Guggenheim’s An Inconvenient Truth is an issue-driven documentary film released in 2006, placing it within today’s environmental crisis. The subject of the film is global warming and depicts former United States Vice President Al Gore’s global slideshow tour educating his audience of this. Through incorporation of actual footage, use of animation, powerful visual juxtaposition and an effective communication of relevant statistics, Guggenheim attempts to warn his audience of the very real, human-caused threat of global warming.

Guggenheim creates a sense of reality throughout the documentary using an incorporation of actual footage. Al Gore is established as the documentary’s presenter through Guggenheim’s use of footage of Gore’s tour of the world, which was dedicated to informing and educating audiences of “the mission he had been pursuing for all these years" on the subject of global warming. Footage from within Gore’s tour car communicates to the audience Gore’s persistent intent on spreading his message, bringing validity to his claims. Guggenheim further uses non-diegetic music to set a sincere and solemn mood to the cut-scenes within his car to convey the importance of the issue to the audience as Gore’s life-long goal, emphasised through Gore’s voiceover which weaves in events that changed his world view, including his Harvard education in environmental areas.

In his documentary, Guggenheim also uses the technique of visual juxtaposition. In his slideshow, Al Gore compares specific locations around the world, screening shots of glaciers that once showed vast expenses of ice, now gone, “This is Argentina twenty years ago... The same glacier, today.” The use of juxtaposition exaggerates a worldwide message that is depicted through the collection of ‘then and now’ photographs. This display of still photographs provides visual...