Finally! What Would Jesus Buy?, opens today in Austin, Nashville, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, and Washington, DC!
I saw this film last spring at South by Southwest and cannot recommend it highly enough. The film documents the journey of Reverend Billy, an activist and performance artist who uses the hilarious antics of the Church of Stop Shopping to drive home a point: mindless consumerism and consumer debt are destroying America. Using the shopping madness of the Christmas season as a jumping-off point, Reverend Billy and his gospel-style choir travel across America to spread the message. They do an exorcism at Wal-Mart headquarters in Arkansas, speak in tonuges on the news, sing stop shopping carols in an upscale neighborhood, and Reverend Billy gets arrested at the Happiest Place on Earth.
For those concerned that this is offensive to churches and Christianity, I encourage you to see the film and take the medium through which the message is delivered with a grain of salt. After all, Christian groups like the Advent Conspiracy are already reminding us that our consumer culture distracts us from the true meaning of Christmas. Christianity Today has a great review in this regard here. As CT says, some of what hapens does come off as condescending and cheapening, "[b]ut the whole argument of the film is that our commodity culture has already cheapened Christianity." Although Reverend Billy's methods are somewhat...unorthodox, the point he makes is a good one, and the film is funny to boot. Again, I highly encourage you to check it out. In Nashville, What Would Jesus Buy? is playing at Green Hills. In D.C., it's at Dupont Circle. In Dallas, it's at the Magnolia. In Tucson, it's at the Loft. In Houston, it's at the Landmark Greenway. In Atlanta, it's at the Midtown Art. For other cities, look here.
Austinites! I want to get a group together to see the film at the Arbor. Would anyone be up for a Monday night screening? Let me know in the comments or by email.