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Documentary - Bottled Up: The Battle Over Dublin Dr. Pepper

Bottled Up: The Battle Over Dublin Dr. Pepper
Bottled Up: The Battle Over Dublin Dr. Pepper
Directed by Drew Rist
Film Buff 2014
76 minutes

Bottled Up: The Battle Over Dublin Dr. Pepper is a pretty good documentary about a David vs. Goliath fight over a piece of Americana: Dr. Pepper. The Dublin, Texas Dr. Pepper bottling plant had been around since 1891. The Dublin plant  franchise covered a 44-mile 6 county area. When Dr. Pepper corporate switched to high fructose corn syrup, Dublin stayed with cane sugar. Word got around and people traveled for miles to Dublin, Texas for the original thing. The Dublin plant also started selling beyond its franchise limit. This eventually pissed off Dr. Pepper Snapple who went after the small bottler and closed it down.

Filmmaker Drew Rist has a good story to tell and mostly tells it well. Unfortunately, the documentary often feels like a puzzle with the pieces in the wrong order. For example, the segment about the effects of closing of the bottling plant on the town of Dublin is presented after the segment about the bottling plant reopening as a new soft drink company named Dublin Bottling Works. This makes it difficult for the viewer to really enjoy the story.

There are also a couple of pointless segments such as the one about how Americans are overweight and this is due to soft drinks be they made with high fructose corn syrup or cane sugar.

There are also what seem to be some unresolved issues. Why else is there a segment with lawyers defending Dublin Dr. Pepper after corporate bought out the Dublin franchise?

Still, Bottled Up is entertaining and, though not as informative and structured as I like documentaries to be, worth watching.

By the way, the opening credits sequence is really cool.

Richard Lanoie

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