Falling for an unlikely Protagonist

Recently, we found ourselves empathizing with a plastic bag, the unlikely protagonist in an 18 minute film that has gone viral on the Internet. Directed by Ramin Bahrani and narrated by German film director Werner Herzog, “Plastic Bag” follows the endless life cycle of a super market plastic bag as it is first employed in a supermarket checkout aisle and then put to daily uses by the shopper, who the bag calls its “maker.” The bag is devastated when its maker abandons it to the garbage dump, from whence it escapes to float above the green, green countryside in a fruitless search for its maker. Finally, the bag ends up in the garbage vortex in the Pacific Ocean admiring the fish and wishing for mortality.

We were stunned at the end of the film when we found ourselves caring about a plastic bag. But that’s the point. The film wants us to examine our attachment to the use of plastic bags – by using them we cause them to be made, are their makers in effect.There is a literary point to be made here, something about the clever use of an unlikely protagonist – and also, the role of the unwitting villain: the maker who well-meaning as she clearly was – she did re-use the bag multiple times – nevertheless contributed it to the garbage vortex. Anyway, here is the link: http://www.wikio.com/video/plastic-bag-ramin-bahrani-2977468