The first time I heard about the 18-minute short film “Plastic Bag” directed by Ramin Bahrani (Goodbye Solo, Chop Shop and Man Push Cart) featuring director Werner Herzog as the voice of a plastic bag was at the tail end of March when it was featured at the South-by-Southwest Film Festival as part of the Futurestates series of 11 fictional mini-features exploring possible future scenarios. Unsurprising, based on the talent involved, it’s an impressive feature that touches upon an issue I’m not sure many people realize is becoming a major problem in our world.
“Plastic Bag” reminded me a lot of Alan Weisman’s “The World Without Us” and how plastics, of all things, will be around forever and are choking our the Earth’s ecosystem. Bahrani’s short film explores such a scenario as the immortal life of a plastic bag is followed as it is discarded by its “maker” and left to wander aimlessly without an end in sight, exploring the impact it will have simply because it can’t “die”.
20th Century Fox actually acquired the rights to Weisman’s nonfiction book and tapped I Am Legend duo, Mark Protosevich and Francis Lawrence to write and direct respectively. While I’m sure they were thinking of a much more cataclysmic-Roland Emmerich style feature I can’t imagine it being any better than what Bahrani and Herzog have done here. Give it a watch directly below followed by a short making-of video.
You can check out more from the Futurestates series right here.