What Would Jesus Buy
Produced by Morgan Spurlock (Super Size Me) and directed by Rob VanAlkemade, What Would Jesus Buy is a hilarious and sneakily penetrating portrait of Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping. I’m pleased to be working with Morgan and Rob to help promote their film, together with the book Get Satisfied: How Twenty People Like You Found the Satisfaction of Enough (from the wonderful Simple Living America, published by Easton Studio Press.) The website for the movie is well worth a visit: http://wwjbmovie.com. Make sure you watch the trailer. The film opens in selected theaters around the country November 30.
Here is the review from the NY Times.
The Gospel of Stop Shopping
For some of the parents interviewed in Rob VanAlkemade’s fast and funny documentary “What Would Jesus Buy?” the answer to the question posed by the title is simple: whatever gadget of the moment their spoiled-rotten kids are craving.
According to the film’s subject, Reverend Billy, the charismatic bleached-blond performance artist and mock evangelist whose real name is Bill Talen, this is part of a larger problem. His get-up may be for show, but his activism is the real deal, and his mission is to fight what he calls the “shopocalypse,” the buying frenzy Americans indulge in every holiday season.
The film takes us on a 2005 cross-country tour with Reverend Billy; Savitri D, his wife and organizer of his Church of Stop Shopping; and the church’s gospel choir. Along the way they deliver their message — that peace and love, not spending, are the true backbone of holiday spirit — through witty speeches and songs to unsuspecting patrons at assorted problem spots like Wal-Mart, the Mall of America and Disneyland.
Reverend Billy is zany and energetic enough to hold the attention of those he’s preaching to — average to extreme shoppers, many clueless as to what globalization means — long enough for them to consider his crusade. At the very least, the film might make a viewer think twice about that next purchase at the Gap.
And for the antidote to the American Church of Material Things, take a look at Get Satisfied (proudly a Booktrix project produced for SLA) at http://www.getsatisfied.org. You can purchase the book there or at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Get-Satisfied-Twenty-People-Satis faction/dp/0974380687/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&am p;qid=1196232092&sr=8-1