by Michael dEstries
Categories: Causes, Video
Tags: , .

Back in April, we posted about a beautiful short film by Ramin Bahrani about the life of a plastic bag and its journey to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. It was moving, particularly with the moving vocal narration by legendary director/actor Werner Herzog.

Today, I spied a video that felt very similar — produced by Heal The Bay and narrated by actor Jeremy Irons. The point of the film is to promote the passage of AB 1998, a state measure that would ban the single-use of plastic bags in retail stores in California. It too features a plastic bag navigating through the dangers of life while eventually making it to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

“Rather than lecturing the audience, we wanted to create a film that would capture people’s attention with humor,” stated Mark Gold, president of Heal the Bay. “At the same time, we saw this as subversive way to make viewers realize the serious, far-reaching problem of single-use plastic bag pollution.

I don’t want to accuse Heal The Bay of ripping off Bahrani’s concept — after all, their version is approached more as a nature doc, while the former was a first-person affair. But it’s safe to assume that someone in the org was definitely “inspired” by the short film. Take a look at both below the fold to come to your own conclusions.

About Michael dEstries

Michael has been blogging since 2005 on issues such as sustainability, renewable energy, philanthropy, and healthy living. He regularly contributes to a slew of publications, as well as consulting with companies looking to make an impact using the web and social media. He lives in Ithaca, NY with his family on an apple farm.

View all posts by Michael dEstries →
  • Plastic Bag

    This is a total rip off of Bahrani/Herzog short film. They should sue them.

  • ChindenPress

    Agreed. When did it become acceptable to blatantly steal an artist’s work ?

  • Hooman

    They flat out stole the film. They could have just pasted the YouTube code for PB in their site and left it at that. Instead they made a very poor copy and are trying to promote it as their own.

  • Jenny

    It’s like they didn’t even try to make it unique. Almost exact copy.

  • JayP

    Ramin Bahrani`s videao is of course WAY better in so many ways…and yes it`s very similar. BUT I think that in today`s rushed society, many people will not stay engaged for 18 minutes….so for those that don`t ..perhaps they will see the 4 min one and have their eyes opened…and learn from it and think twice before they say “Yes please I need a bag!“

  • Anne

    The bigger perspective is more important. Heal the Bay is trying to do a good thing in California. Plus, the videos don’t seem too similar to me – basically they’re both about plastic bags but convey different messages and take different approaches.

    We shouldn’t be up in arms about this, look at the bigger picture and the common good.