I was given the opportunity to review the new movie Tapped just before its release by Bullfrog Films. The movie is now out on DVD and available for screening, and I highly recommend it. For starters, I really enjoyed watching this film (and I watch a lot of movies). The production was fantastic – not surprising since it’s the same folks that made Who Killed the Electric Car? I especially loved the soundtrack (being from Detroit, I'm a huge White Stripes fan) and overall pace of the movie. OK, but enough but the entertainment value – I’m not a movie critic, I’m a water wonk, so here’s my take on the substance of the film.
The first segment on Nestle and Maine made me skeptical that Tapped was going to be similar to FLOW and basically be a movie-length criticism of Nestle. Instead, Tapped uses the Nestle bottled water controversy to educate viewers about far more complex and dangerous environmental problems, like BPA health effects and “plastication” of our oceans.
Tapped takes the simple plastic bottle of water that millions of us buy and throw out every day to demonstrate environmental consequences and injustices from water shortages to cancer clusters. The film leaves no stone unturned and doesn’t give anyone involved – even the consumer – a free pass from their actions. From the Maine village that struggles against corporate attempts to bottle their local springwater, to the Texas town that lives with the toxic pollution from making plastic, the film takes us on a national tour of the people and communities on the front lines of environmental fights.
While it would be easy to simply demonize the big corporations, the film goes further and deeper by showing how government regulation, elected representatives, and local governments have all failed us – and we have failed ourselves with our choices and addiction to disposable convenience. By showing how we have all contributed to these environmental problems, the film ends on an empowering high note, providing simple and concrete examples of how we can all be a part of the solution.