A ground breaking film about consumerism, materialism, commercialism and the antidotes.
AFFLUENZA is a ground breaking film that diagnoses a serious social disease – caused by consumerism, commercialism and rampant materialism – that is having a devastating impact on our families, communities, and the environment. We have more stuff, but less time, and our quality of life seems to be deteriorating.
“Shopping malls have really become the centers of many communities. Children, as well as adults, see a shopping center as just the natural destination to fill a bored life.”
Last year, Americans, who make up only five percent of the world’s population, used nearly a third of its resources and produced almost half of its hazardous waste. Add overwork, personal stress, the erosion of family and community, skyrocketing debt, and the growing gap between rich and poor, and it’s easy to understand why some people say that the American Dream is no bargain. Many are opting out of the consumer chase, redefining the Dream, and making “voluntary simplicity” one of the top 10 trends of the ’90s.
By using personal stories, expert commentary, hilarious old film clips, and “uncommercial” breaks to illuminate the nature and extent of the disease, AFFLUENZA has appealed to widely diverse audiences: from freshmen orientation programs to consumer credit counselling, and from religious congregations to marketing classes.
With the help of historians and archival film, AFFLUENZA reveals the forces that have dramatically transformed us from a nation that prized thriftiness – with strong beliefs in “plain living and high thinking” – into the ultimate consumer society.
Produced by: John de Graaf and Vivia Boe
Official Page: pbs.org
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