When you have a documentary that covers subject matter that polarizes on a political level, there is no better time to release it than during an election year. Better yet, release it right during the Presidential Debates in the months leading up to the election. National Geographic knows what they are doing, and have set the theatrical release for Before the Flood for October 9th, 2016.
With only a couple weeks remaining before the documentary's release, one had to wonder where the heck was the trailer. While some small, or should I say tiny, documentaries do forego a trailer, Before the Flood has got big names and a big agenda pushing it.
It turns out that National Geographic was patiently sitting on the trailer until the first presidential debate. Having aired last night, leaving the political climate at an all-time high, the documentary is sure to garner some attention. If the debate had commercials, this trailer likely would have purchased a spot. But there weren't ad spots, so the trailer was left to wait for an online release. And so we have it!
Before the Flood Trailer Showcases DiCaprio
DiCaprio is not only the narrator in the Before the Flood trailer, but he also stars in and produced the documentary. If you didn't know how politically active DiCaprio was, he did get press for mentioning how hard it was to find snow when filming The Revenant. If readers thought he was giving a slight hint on his Global Warming perspective, later interviews he revealed just how concerned he was.
"The snow melted down, literally, in front of our eyes. We experienced global warming; we were planning to shoot the ending scene in a location that supposedly will have snow … [But there were] bees. So we had to shut down."
Due partially to The Revenant, DiCaprio decided it was time to get serious about climate change. Bring on Before the Flood.
Before the Flood Gets Talented Support
Hollywood and other artists are obviously behind this documentary. Which partially explains why Before the Flood will feature an impressive soundtrack from composers such as Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross and Gustavo Santaolalla. The marketing should be relatively cheap, considering we can assume a number of celebrities and politicians will be mentioning the documentary in upcoming interviews.
The documentary seems to take a Vice-like approach to providing information and presenting interviews. But, while Vice did a notable job not overly-politicizing their two episodes on Climate Change, Before the Flood does tread some political waters. The question is, will mixing politics in help or hurt the film's viewership? Case in point, there is a strong chance that people who dislike President Obama and John Kerry might see the film as a propaganda tool for them. Instead of as a pure fact-finding documentary. This type of viewer might decide not to see what DiCaprio discovered strictly on principle. Or, will Obama/Kerry supporters be flocking to see the film also because they want to support their politicians.
It's hard to say, but expect some political drama to blossom around this film after its release. I have $10 that both Trump and Clinton do a Tweet about it.