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Addicted To Plastic 

Directed by Ian Connacher (Mongrel Media)

Canadian documentarian Ian Connacher put a lot of effort into learning about plastic for the appropriately named Addicted to Plastic, and he wants us to know it. Why else would he start the film with a list of impressive-sounding figures? ("Five continents; 12 countries; 160,000 kilometres...49 interviews; nine factories; six landfills.")

Connacher's quest to learn more about everyone's favourite landfill-fillin', non-biodegradable---and possibly dangerous---substance does lead him down some fascinating paths. We watch a collective in Kenya make lovely accessories from old flip-flops, see a biologist dissect a poor sea bird's plastic-filled stomach, visit the infamous Great Pacific Garbage Patch---where a Texas-sized patch of plastic drifts and collects barnacles---and meet many fine folks working to manufacture various eco-friendly plastics. But the film as a whole feels overstuffed and meandering.

Connacher seems unsure what plastic-point he most wants to make. He admits he can't fit all his talking heads in (so why bother telling us about them) and then wastes time poking fun at (but still not explaining) one scientist's jargon-filled explanation---instead of, you know, using one of his other 48 interviews instead.

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Vol 26, No 25
November 15, 2018

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