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A Plastic Ocean
When he discovers the world's oceans brimming with plastic waste, a documentary filmmaker investigates the pollution's environmental impacts.

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Please Note: Reader Reviews are submitted by the readers of The BigScreen Cinema Guide and represent their own personal opinions regarding this movie, and do not represent the views of The BigScreen Cinema Guide, or any of its associated entities.

Apr 25, 2018
What happens when you set out to make one movie, and another one falls in your lap and gets in the way? This is what happened to a documentarian looking to make a movie about blue whales, only to be struck by the effects of plastics that were floating in the water he was filming in. After closer examination of the issue, he found that whales, turtles, and sea birds were being killed as a result of waste being flushed into the ocean from rivers and plastic beads (nurdles) washing up on shore after shipping containers broke open.

What follows is a trip around various regions that have been affected by plastic waste. Sea birds with so much plastic in their stomachs that they can't eat and they're too heavy to fly. People in Tuvalu that live in garbage pits. The list goes on. It ends as the filmmaker comes back to the U.S. and attempts to order carryout food in Austin, Texas without it being packaged in styrofoam or plastic.

It's eye-opening to say the least. There are times when it seems as though the interviewer is looking for a particular answer from people to support the theme, but it doesn't reach into the level of propaganda. Viewers need to be hit over the head with some concepts, because when it comes to important issues, subtlety doesn't always get through. Anyone who watches documentaries with any regularity will recognize the approach.

I think the movie accomplishes its stated goal of bringing awareness to the problem, demonstrating the size of the problem, and encouraging action in the form of looking for ways to reduce our own use of plastic in our lives and to communicate with our lawmakers that more needs to be done to examine the impact that plastic has in the world.

This isn't a doom-and-gloom type of movie, but its message is definitely not one that can be delivered with anything but the appropriate level of seriousness that it deserves. It's well worth watching!

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