Plastic Planet (2009) - Movie Review for Parents and Teachers | Student Handouts
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Plastic Planet (2009)
World History > Modern Global Issues > Modern Global Issues Books and Films
Plastic Planet (2009) - Documentary film guide and review for high school World History educators. Reviewer: Ms. Stelzer

Length: 99 minutes (1 hour, 39 minutes)

Age appropriateness: This film would be appropriate for a mature high school classroom or a home viewing. The film includes several scenes with subtitles, so students would need to be able to keep pace while reading the text. There is a shot of a lactating breast and also a few sexual jokes. The word sh*t is used once in the film. There is also a scene that includes somewhat graphic images of dead bodies being dissected.

Creators and stars: Beatrice Bortolozzo, Cordula Werner, Daniel Zuta, Felice Casson, Florian Brandt, Fred vom Saal, Henning Kröger, Iliana Goldschmidt, John Taylor, Klaus Rhomberg, Manfred Zahora, Marques Brown, Margot Wallström, Othman Ilyassa, Peter Lieberzeit, Robin Tharaldson, Thomas Bogner, Scott Belcher, Susan Jobling, Thomas Kirschner, Tom Pohanka, Vicky Zhang, Werner Boote

Accuracy: Plastic Planet is a documentary film about the History of plastic and the ways in which it is polluting the environment and affecting human health. It includes information on how plastic is produced, the ways in which the plastic industry functions, and how people frequently use plastic without an awareness of its harmful effects. Werner Boote, the writer and director, travels to various countries and talks to scientists, environmentalists, and representatives from the plastic companies.
  Werner Boote in Plastic Planet (c) First Run Features   Plastic Planet (2009)   Kurt Scheidl and Werner Boote   Plastic Planet Movie Photo      
Review: This film contains useful information about the History of plastic and how humans are impacting the environment. Despite this, the film occasionally veers away from being factual and goes into a few personal stories and anecdotes. This could be helpful when hoping to keep students engaged, but in terms of educative value, these moments are less beneficial. The only other issue that could be seen is that the movie does have a clear agenda against the production of plastic, focusing exclusively on the negative effects of plastic and very few of the benefits. Overall, it contains important, useful information that could be used to help students think critically about the environment.

Vocabulary terms: carcinogen, biosphere, chemistry, synthetic, PVC (Polyvinyl chloride), polymers, phthalates, molecules, endocrine system, polycarbonate, Bisphenol A, bioplastics, hormones
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Plastic Planet Movie Review Publication Date for Citation Purposes: June 3, 2012