Filmmaker Ramin Bahrani on Trash, 'Plastic Bag' and Werner Herzog

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John Hockenberry got to sit down with Iranian-American filmmaker Ramin Bahrani earlier this week to discuss Bahrani's new 18-minute short, "Plastic Bag," how he managed to get Werner Herzog to voice the title character, and what he'll be working on next.

John and Ramin Bahrani began the discussion with:

  • Plastic Bag, the movie
  • The "Pacific Garbage Patch" and ocean currents
  • "Twice the size of Texas"
  • Fish eat plastic trash, we eat the fish
  • "Basically, you're eating your toothbrush"
  • The movie's not a documentary, nor an "agenda film"
  • Origins of the Plastic Bag story 



and continue with:


  • Voice casting filmmaker Werner Herzog
  • Getting help from Roger Ebert
  • Herzog's filmmaking as indicator of his own environmental sensitivity
  • Popular online despite being 18 minutes long
  • Bahrani's first three features, what he's working on next