Addictions and Control Issues

When director Ian Connacher appeared on CBC Sunday Morning a few weeks back, he presented some disturbing clips from his documentary, Addicted to Plastic (2008), that showed a mess of fine and chunky pieces of non-degrading plastic swirling around the oceans.

Those clips, which had Connacher and cameraman Gad Reichman on a chartered boat reeling in drifting crap, occur at the film's beginning, and lead into a broad, tight narrative that covers the history of and our affection for plastic, as well the immense crap we send to Asia, and how those countries deal with our and their own rubbish.

Addicted to Plastic is currently available from the director's website, and is well worth acquiring for the globe-trotting narrative on how we're permamently, culturally stuck with this 'magical clay.'

As it happens, Connacher's doc also arrives in close proximity to Irena Salina's Flow: For Love of Water (2008), a film about what's happening to poor and local middle-class communities in Asia and North America as multinational corporations are snapping up control of valuable water resources. Salina gained access to several executives from the main water management companies whose work in the Third World hasn't been so neat, and in many cases, the execs hang themselves with their own words - a gift every filmmaker cherishes when it happens.

Unlike Addicted to Plastic, where even the plastic industry would concur things have gotten out of hand, Flow spotlights some shocking cases of greed, and there are indeed some smiling villains. Mongrel Media's DVD includes a lot of extras not printed on the Flow sleeve, including a commentary track, expanded interviews, deleted scenes, and a pair of vintage shorts.



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