***/**** Image A- Sound B+ Extras B+
directed by Louie Psihoyos
***/**** Image C+ Sound B-
directed by Yann Arthus-Bertrand
by Jefferson Robbins Critically assessing the environmental documentary is often a hard road, because it forces you to bear the competing tensions of shame, anger, and self-righteousness. You know you're part of the problem as you sit there spinning a petrol-derived video disc, typing on a laptop with tantalum capacitors strip-mined from Africa, but, damnit, you didn't personally spit-roast those lemurs. The best you can hope for, usually, is some beautiful photography, a compelling story, and a degree of responsibility on the filmmakers' part--a commitment to balancing science and passion in respectful measure.