Movie Review: “Revolution” – Small Step Towards Evolution

Written by Emily McWilliams April 07, 2013

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Rob Stewart, a former wildlife photographer, decided to speak out against the injustices humans perform on the environment in his first documentary “Sharkwater”.  While promoting “Sharkwater”, Stewart realized that the need for action had to extend to all aspects of the environment and not just sharks. In his newest film, “Revolution”, Stewart meets and speaks with scientists, politicians, and activists to understand the state of our environment and what steps need to be taken to save it.

Looking at Ourselves and What We Can Do

Stewart is a very prominent presence in the film; not only is he the director, writer ,and producer, but his voice appears in the film when he is not on camera explaining the more scientific aspects of this issue in everyday language.  He is also seen participating in protests and speaking out on environmental issues.  The film opens with Stewart’s journey: his childhood and how he became involved with environmental activism as he tries to understand our negative impact, and even his own.  From there he explores how other youths are getting involved and making real change to help reverse our effects on nature.

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Stewart is an extremely likeable guide and in many ways, his journey of understanding mimics that of the average person, so it doesn’t feel like he is talking down to the audience, as we have all had some effect on the environment.  His use of voice-over did seem a little excessive at times, but this film appears to be geared primarily towards a middle-school audience to introduce them to the issues and how they can get involved.

Simplistic View of the Issues

Reaching out to the youth seems to be the focus of this movie, but overall the film’s intent was scattered.  The film transitioned from Stewart’s introduction and covered topics related to the oceans, the Canadian tar sands, and activism in a very short amount of time.  It would appear that Stewart is trying to give an overview of all the issues affecting the environment, and Canada’s role in that specifically, but there wasn’t an in-depth view of any one issue.  If you’re looking for some hard-hitting investigation into the state of environmental awareness and activism, then “Revolution” is not that movie.  For its intended audience, it does a very good job of explaining and laying out the problems, but most will come away with it not having been exposed to much new information.

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“Revolution” features some impressive wildlife images and interesting interviews with experts on the topic, but is a straightforward film with not much to offer.  Stewart is passionate about raising awareness and this film does accomplish that, but not in a way that will appeal to every audience member, especially older ones.  If you’re interested in the topic and want to learn more, then “Revolution” is a great starting point.  Otherwise, there is nothing revolutionary about this film for movie-lovers or those who care about the environment.

My Rating: 6/10

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