The film What Would Jesus Buy? will be screened this Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Hot Metal Bridge Faith Community.
The film, produced by Morgan Spurlock (Super-Size Me!, 30 Days), follows performance artist Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping Gospel Choir as they embark on a cross-country mission to save Christmas from the Shopocalypse (the end of humankind from consumerism, over-consumption and the fires of eternal debt).
Viewers are taken into the homes of families as they max our their credit cards to live up to the consumer ideal of Christmas, while also telling personal stories from those who remember the holidays as a simpler, less commercial, and more joyful time. Interviews with labor rights experts, historians, and spiritual leaders reveal how the consumerization of the holiday season over time taught Americans they should show love by exchanging sometimes expensive gifts that are often assembled by sweatshop labor overseas.
"Somewhere in our history of celebrating Christmas, something good became something bad. The act of giving gifts, instead of simply expressing love and affection, became a source of anxiety, greed, disappointment, and very recently even violence," said Mike Holohan, director of ministries at the church. "By confronting the excesses of consumerism with humor, music, and non-violent public witness, these activists help us to think of new ways to celebrate Christmas."
After the screening, there will be time to discuss what has been presented in the movie, including the benefits of supporting the local economy while backing away from sweatshop retail products.
The Hot Metal Bridge Faith Community is located at the corner of 27th and Jane streets in the South Side.