Age of Stupid, The

Great Britain 2008, Documentary, 90' | Director, Screenplay Franny Armstrong | DoP Lawrence Gardner and Franny Armstrong | Production John Battsek | Distribution TAO Cinemathek

Synopsis
»We calculated the film's carbon footprint by recording every journey […] as well as all the electricity, petrol, food and equipment used. Overall, it added up to 94 tonnes of CO2 – equal to the power consumption of 185 patio heaters in a month. I definitely think our film is worth 185 patio heaters.«
Franny Armstrong.

»Either we seriously tackle climate change or we wipe out most life on Earth. The future of our species and everything we have ever achieved is at stake, so it's not a tricky decision.«
Franny Armstrong

It is 2055 and Planet Earth has almost been destroyed. Somewhere in the Arctic, which has melted away, an old man sits and ponders why we didn't prevent climate change when it was still possible. Six true stories from the year 1950 to 2008 appear on his screen, stories that illustrate how we are ruining the very fundamentals of life. The villagers in Cornwall, England, who think that the wind turbines disfigure the landscape. Jeh Wadia from India who sets up a low-cost airline and bathes in applause for bringing prosperity to his country. Mountain guide Fernand Pareau who campaigns in the Alps against the lorries that transport milk from Switzerland to Italy in order to re-import it as yoghurt. 
Through the The Age of Stupid, then, Franny Armstrong questions the moral and psychological culture in which an individual today has to take decisions affecting the climate. Pete Postlethwaite can be seen here in one of his last roles, in a film that caused an international sensation on account of the way it was financed – i.e. via crowd-funding. For the makers of the film, climate protection is a matter of real concern: they organised a solar cinema tent for the London première. And the related CO2 Initiative 10:10 (HYPERLINK "http://www.1010global.org" www.1010global.org) is notching up successes across the world.

 

Biography
FRANNY ARMSTRONG's first documentary, McLibel, told the inside story of the libel trial by McDonald's Restaurants against David Morris and Helen Steel. After its première in 1997, it was initially stopped by lawyers. But when, in 2005, Ms Armstrong – on the basis of a second version of the film – defeated the British government at the European Court of Human Rights, McLibel Two was finally broadcast on BBC 2 to fantastic reviews. In A Racist Force (2000), she tackled the subject of racism within the British police force. For Baked Alaska (2001), she picked up many awards. In 2002, in another feature documentary, Drowned Out, Ms Armstrong followed a family in India who chose to stay at home and drown rather than make way for the Narmada Dam. For The Age of Stupid in 2004, Franny Armstrong worked with renowned British producer John Battsek.

Franny Armstrong
Great Britain
2008
Documentary
2011
Focus: Now what, School Film