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Before the Flood (2016)

A look at how climate change affects our environment and what society can do to prevent the demise of endangered species, ecosystems and native communities across the planet.



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2 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Himself (as Ban Ki-Moon)
Himself (as Alejandro G. Iñárritu)
Mike Brune ...
Himself (as Michael Brune)
Marc Mageau ...
Enric Sala ...
Himself (as Dr. Enric Sala)
Jake Awa ...
Jason Box ...
Himself (as Prof. Jason E. Box)
Philip Levine ...
Himself (as Dr. Michael E. Mann)
Ma Jun ...
Alvin Lin ...
Sunita Narain ...
Ashok Lavasa ...
Haji Ji ...
Himself, farmer


A look at how climate change affects our environment and what society can do to prevent the demise of endangered species, ecosystems and native communities across the planet.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The Science is Clear. The Future is Not.


Documentary | News

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic elements, some nude and suggestive art images, language and brief smoking | See all certifications »




Release Date:

30 October 2016 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Turning Point  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs



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Did You Know?


Leonardo Dicaprio nearly drowned while shooting one of the first outings. See more »


[first lines]
Leonardo DiCaprio: My first visual memories are of this framed poster above my crib. I'd stare at it every night before I went to bed. My father was an underground comic distributor.
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Disappearing Act
Composed and performed by Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
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User Reviews

Incredibly biased, provides only facts that support his opinion
15 November 2016 | by See all my reviews

If nothing else, Before the Flood allows viewers a glimpse at Leo DiCaprio's apparently tortured thought process. The results aren't pretty, but they tell you a lot.

In nearly two hours of preaching all manner of rehashed conspiracies, his documentary ultimately provides few facts. You won't hear any mention of Canada's world leadership as a top producer of wind, hydro and solar power. You also won't find any mention of First Nations prospering to the tune of $10 billion over the last 15 years through First Nations-owned companies in the oil sands region.

You certainly won't learn by watching the film that, since 1990, Canadian oil sands producers have reduced per-barrel GHG emissions by an average of 30 per cent, and that some achieved reductions as high as half. You'll miss the fact the oil sands contribute only 0.15 per cent of global GHG emissions, and that just 1.6 per cent of all of emissions come from Canada.

And you'll not be told -- even during an oil sands flyover segment -- that mining is just one aspect of the Alberta industry, and a diminishing aspect at that, accounting for less than one per cent of the oil sands land area over the last fifty years of development. Information on the growing, and far less invasive in situ oil extraction techniques never makes it into the film. Nor does Alberta's climate leadership regarding plans for an emissions cap and a price on carbon. Leo doesn't mention that Canada is a global leader in energy regulation and environmental progress, either.

But like the Hieronymus Bosch poster above Leo's crib throughout his childhood, placed there by his comic-book-loving father, Before the Flood is chock full of scary images of doom and destruction. The film concludes with the usual talking points about political will, shutting down "the tar sands" and putting up windmills and solar panels in developing regions where too many inhabitants can't even afford a light bulb.

At the end of the day, the film is about a famous, globetrotting real-action figure, haunted by end-of-the-world nightmares, seeking redemption from the United Nations, the Vatican, the Democrats and Martin Scorsese, executive producer.

Before the Flood is DiCaprio's latest high-priced attempt at throwing a giant scare into anybody who ever felt a tinge of guilt about eating certain foods, drinking certain beverages, and using fossil fuels for telecommunications or transportation, heating or health care, improved literacy or just plain all-round modern living.

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