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Movie review: 'Carbon Nation'

February 17, 2011|By Gary Goldstein

Although it contains its moments of doom and gloom about the potential effects of climate change, the excellent documentary "Carbon Nation" is an inspiring look at the many recent advances in clean energy and green technologies.

Director Peter Byck covers an impressively wide range of ground within his film's compact running time as he introduces us to a stirring cross-section of pioneers, researchers and innovators committed to helping the world reduce its carbon footprint.

Byck hopscotches across America and beyond interviewing such notables as Richard Branson, former CIA Director R. James Woolsey, Earth Day founder Denis Hayes and charismatic environmental advocate Van Jones, among many others, who weigh in on the issues, problems and solutions surrounding the climate change phenomenon.

The world's largest wind farm, a refrigerator recycling plant and a green initiative project for low-income neighborhoods are just a few of the many ecology boosters — and job creators — that get a big-screen close-up here.

That Byck's script (written with Eric Driscoll, Matt Weinhold and Karen Weigert) and journalist-TV host Bill Kurtis' narration remain positive, proactive and gingerly apolitical should help widen the film's viewership tent. As New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman so aptly puts it here, "Green is the new red, white and blue."

"Carbon Nation." No MPAA rating. Running time: 1 hour, 22 minutes. At Laemmle's Sunset 5, West Hollywood.

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