It’s enough to see the film “Bag It” just because the main guy, Jeb Berrier, is an adorable nerd who loves his wife, and they’re having a baby.He’s, like, halfway between a benign Michael Moore and a well-adjusted incarnation of George Costanza from “Seinfeld.”
Also, Jeb Berrier is pretty much an ordinary person like most people.“Bag It” encourages ordinary people to do ordinary things every day – accessible, routine things – that add up to a meaningful difference and a heaping momentum of symbolic difference.
Reduce use of single-use disposables. Don’t drink bottled water. Bring your own container. Buy less stuff, more used stuff, less packaged stuff.Clean up litter.Reduce and reuse, and while recycling is good, it’s not as good. Avoid recyclables designated #3, #6, or #7.Simplify your life.
As message pictures go, “Bag It” is easy listening, quite a bit of fun, constructively organized awareness raising, and more inspirational than some of the heavier, serious, daunting films vying for your attention.
The most commonly struck chord: use fewer resources manufacturing, transporting, and throwing things away. This resonates especially with the recognition that there is no inconsequential “away” when we get rid of things. This movie resonates most profoundly with the notion that there are loving caring reasons to find revitalized kinds of satisfaction – satisfactions that are the real stuff of life.
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Q and A with "Bag It" Director Suzan Beraza
Chuck Jaffee: Is it a coincidence that Jeb Berrier, who guides us through the "Bag It" story, is an adorable, nerdy everyman?
Suzan Beraza: Jeb really is adorable and nerdy, and that is exactly why I chose him to play the part of an everyman. I wanted someone that audiences could relate to, someone you felt like you'd love to have over for dinner.
CJ: What are some inspirations and obstacles to creating a personable, even fun, awareness-raising film around such a daunting message?
SB: From the very beginning our mantra was "accessible," and we know that humor could really help make that happen. We also had to know when not to try and be cute or funny. When you're staring into the guts of a dead albatross filled with our plastic waste, that's not the time to crack a joke.
CJ: What do you think are the easiest steps for regular people to take for them to "Bag It," and how do you advise them overcoming the inertia against changing life habits? What are the most profound steps?
SB: Easiest: cut down your use of those pesky "single-use disposables." Bring your own. Make your own to-go kit. To overcome inertia try it first for one day, then a week, and then it becomes your habit. Profound: become a leader and an activist. All sorts of causes need a champion. The film quotes Margaret Mead: "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."