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Reviewer: Ms. Fox
Length: 75 minutes (1 hour, 15 minutes)
Age appropriateness: Tapped is not officially rated in the United States. This documentary film is safe for all ages. Its content is most appropriate for students in grades seven and up.
Creators and stars: Atlas Films, Ellen Mai, Jason Lindsey, Jessie Deeter, Josh David, Krystal Lord, Michael Walrath, Michelle Walrath, Sarah Gibson, Sarah Olson, Stephanie Soechtig
Accuracy: The content of Tapped is highly accurate. This documentary contains interviews with leading advocates, activists, and leading scientists and researchers. Members of the beverage industry were invited to participate, but very few agreed to do so.
Review: Tapped is a well-crafted documentary film that highlights many ways in which the bottled water industry has adversely affected people and communities in the United States and around the world. The film gives insight into how water pumping affects local communities, health and environmental issues related to plastic manufacturing, health issues resulting from consumers' use of plastic beverage containers, and plastic pollution. This film is an environmentalist call-to-action, but this bias does not affect the truth of the scientific facts discussed and explained.
This film will work in both a Social Studies classroom studying current events and issues, as well as in Health and Science classes.
To help educators meet the state and national core curriculum standards, we have included vocabulary terms, discussion and review questions, as well as classroom activities (below) to accompany a viewing of this documentary film.
Review and discussion questions for students: (1) Describe the problems between Poland Spring/Nestle and the community of Fryeburg, Maine. (2) What are the world's three largest bottled water companies? (3) Describe the link between plastic production and human illness. (4) How are consumers of beverages sold in plastic bottles at possible risk? (5) How do discarded plastic bottles impact the environment? (6) Why do you suppose that, despite the problems with bottled water, so many people continue to consume this product? (7) Propose three solutions to solve the problems posed by this film. (8) Has this film caused you to change (or will it cause you to change) your level of plastic beverage bottle consumption? Why or why not?
Activities: (1) Science classes might try testing bottled water against tap water and local rivers and lakes. (2) Host a "water challenge" and have students blindly test several brands of bottled water against tap water. (3) Pending student interest, help to create a recycling program at your school, or promote an existing one.
Vocabulary terms: absolute dominion, activists, benzene, birth defects, bisphenol A, chemical industry, clean drinking water, convenient, curbside recycling, di-n-octyl phthalate, diethyl phthalate, Eastern Garbage Patch, ecosystem, environment, environmental justice, EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), FDA (Food and Drug Administration), ground water, municipal water supply, municipalities, North Pacific Gyre, ownership, PET (polyethylene terephthalate), polycarbonate plastic, potable water, precedent, refinery, resources, self-regulated, styrene, supply and demand, tap water, toluene, town hall meetings, vulnerable, Western Garbage Patch
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Tapped Movie Review Publication Date for Citation Purposes: June 22, 2012