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February 19, 2011

Notes From BIFF 2011: Bag It! ~ René Cousineau

Jeb Berrier, as pictured in the BIFF program

“Plastic is made of ground-up snail shells.”

~ Bag It!

Bag It! is about plastic bags. Well, sort of. It’s about the U.S.’s generally excessive usage of plastic as disposable packaging. It’s about the amount of waste that this practice produces, where it goes, what it does to the environment and what it does to our bodies. And it. Is. Awesome. So awesome in fact, that it compelled me without even a second thought, to walk over to the Call-2-Action tent and sign a petition regarding the fate of our own plastic bag usage.

It’s enlightening and evocative without being preachy. The writing is top notch and the narrator, Jeb Berrier is a real charmer. He’s someone that I think a lot of people struggling to figure out exactly what it takes to better our lives and become more eco-conscious can relate to. He’s just a normal guy—not some self-righteous, green-crusader type. He doesn’t claim to be perfect, but he displays the genuine desire to be better to the earth and to himself. This is the general vibe of the whole film.

This was a fun film to see in Boulder. There are a lot of passionate and caring people in these parts so, it was just amusing to watch all of the nodding heads, the tongue-clicks of disgust when we learned that our plastic waste kills over 100,000 marine animals each year… I used to find it easy to make fun of those kinds of reactions but, Bag It! presents the issues in a way that hits close to home for everyone I think. I found myself shaking and clicking away throughout the whole thing.

Director, Suzan Beraza was present to answer questions after the film, and had some insightful things to say about the making of the film, shooting with Jeb and her basic idea of how she wanted the film to come across. I think my personal reaction was pretty well in line with what she was hoping for. That’s a successful film!

Also, turtles. I’m a sucker for turtles. Seeing the sea turtles eating plastic bags and dying on trash-littered beaches is really helping me change my tune about disposable packaging. I think it’s probably time for everyone to consider doing the same. Watch Bag It!, and let me know if you feel the same way.

René Cousineau was born and raised in Glenwood Springs, CO. She currently lives in Boulder and is a student of fiction writing and Russian literature. She spends her time reading, cleaning, hiking, dancing, and slinging cupcakes at a local bakery/coffee shop.

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