Friday, April 24, 2020


Now available, free of charge, on YouTube:

Planet of the Humans--Executive-produced by Michael Moore, this documentary was written and directed by Moore's crony Jeff Gibbs, who also stars. A longtime self-described tree-hugger, Gibbs arrives at some discouraging conclusions as he schleps around to environmental rallies and alternative energy sites, and explores the way corporations have co-opted his beloved movement. The film seeks to debunk the idea of "green energy" as a solution to climate change, and even to debunk the focus on mitigating climate change, rather than on modifying human behavior, as a solution to ecological catastrophe. Gibbs also runs biomass through the wood chipper, and sends such Green sacred cows as Michael Brune, Bill McKibben and even Al Gore to the figurative slaughterhouse.

It's structured much like one of Moore's snarky picaresques, but without Moore's self-deprecating, facetious persona or his eye for eccentricity. As a result of the earnest, plodding, monotone, hangdog manner of Gibbs, Planet of the Humans is often convincing and almost always wretchedly depressing. This may be just the sort of disillusioning we need if we want to rescue ourselves, but brace yourself: this movie, which includes footage of animals being butchered and otherwise in distress, isn't a lot of laughs, and the message of hope with which Gibbs concludes it feels half-hearted.

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