Netflix’s latest cinema hit breaks records, scientists speak out


Directed by Adam McKay, Don’t Look Up: Cosmic Denial features a more than solid cast, with Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence in the lead roles, surrounded by Meryl Streep, Jonah Hill, Rob Morgan, Cate Blanchett, Tyler Perry, Mark Rylance, Ariana Grande and Timothée Chalamet.

Cynical, the feature film tells how Kate Dibiasky and Randall Mindy, the characters discovering the threat, fight to make the public and the leaders listen to reason. The film thus evokes disinformation, denial, absolute sarcasm, and the inaction of heads of state, with a focus on the President of the United States of America.

This difficulty for scientists in making people understand the urgency and being listened to finds an echo in the real scientific community, and in particular within the IPCC, whose latest report underlines the climate emergency we are facing. For Valérie Masson-Delmotte, co-chair of the IPCC working group I who spoke in Le Progrès, this film echoes what scientists are experiencing, who have the impression of “living a Greek tragedy announced without the start or the leadership needed to turn the tide. ”

The film shows the disconnect, which I have often felt, between scientific research, the media and political power. It thus raises the question of the training of scientists to express themselves in the media, and the difficulty of journalists or political decision-makers in integrating scientific knowledge.

For his part, Michael E. Mann, climatologist who inspired one of the two main characters, was interviewed by Le Monde, declaring:

This film is undoubtedly a powerful metaphor for the ongoing climate crisis. It is a serious socio-political commentary, which presents itself as a comedy.

Last I heard, Don’t Look Up has a total of more than 263 million hours viewed, placing the film number 1 of the most viewed films in the world in two weeks. A success that continues, and which should allow the feature film to set new records.

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