Indie director Rahmin Bahrani (Man Push Cart, Goodbye Solo) directed this beautifully shot short for ITVS called “Plastic Bag,” which charts the surprisingly poetic life and existential musings of, you guessed it, a plastic bag dispensed at a supermarket. The bag is put to a surprising variety of uses by its owner (which the grateful and somewhat obsessed bag refers to as its “maker”) before it is inevitably discarded. But somehow it escapes the trash heap and lifts off into an epic airborne journey exploring mankind’s footprint on the fragile Earth.
The striking visuals are matched in power by the voiceover of Werner Herzog, who lends his distinct Teutonic diction to the bag’s monologue. (But wait, aren’t most plastic bags made in China? Shouldn’t they have gotten Chow Yun-fat or Jackie Chan?) Both the voiceover and the narrative get hammy at times (like the howler of a love duet between two bags) but overall it’s very easy on the eyes, and leaves you with a thought or two to ponder. (Oh, and the muted soundtrack is by Kjartan Sveinsson of Sigur Ros.) Check it out here: