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Black Friday Is Buy Nothing Day: Here Are 10 Films to Inspire a Joyous Shopping-Free Holiday

By Tim Hjersted / filmsforaction.org
Nov 24, 2011
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Black Friday Is Buy Nothing Day: Here Are 10 Films to Inspire a Joyous Shopping-Free Holiday

Since 1997, the biggest shopping day of the year in North America has also been known as Buy Nothing Day - a playful protest against the cultural and commercial pressures that compel us to consume more every year, grow more in debt to prove our love to our loved ones and find temporary happiness in that euphoric moment of purchase.

It's a movement that has been growing internationally every year, despite the commercial pressures now enveloping even Thanksgiving in the holiday madness. More and more people have had enough and are choosing to celebrate with their loved ones a different way - by not buying anything!

In the spirit of the shopping-free holiday, here are 10 of the best documentaries that give inspiration to the day (click the links to watch online):

 

What Would Jesus Buy? (2007)
2 min · Religion aside for a moment, there’s a terrible addiction that has swept across this country, and it’s one of the nation’s best kept secrets. Mostly everyone will tell you that it’s a really bad thing, but nobody can seem to stop doing...
Consuming Kids: The Commercialization of Childhood (2008)
66 min · Consuming Kids throws desperately needed light on the practices of a relentless multi-billion dollar marketing machine that now sells kids and their parents everything from junk food and violent video games to bogus educational products...
Consumed (2011)
52 min · Consumerism has become the cornerstone of the post-industrial age. Using theories of evolutionary psychology to underpin a bold narrative of our times, this film takes a whirlwind tour through the “weird mental illness of consumerism”...
The Century of the Self (2002)
230 min · The Century of the Self tells the untold and sometimes controversial story of the growth of the mass-consumer society. How was the all-consuming self created, by whom, and in whose interests? (Includes all parts of this multi-part...
Pyramids of Waste: The Lightbulb Conspiracy (2010)
52 min · Pyramids of Waste is a documentary about the negative effects of consumerism and planned obsolescence.
No Logo: Brands. Globalization. Resistance. (2003)
40 min · In the age of the brand, logos are everywhere. But why do some of the world’s best-known brands find themselves on the wrong end of the spray paint can — the targets of anti-corporate campaigns by activists and protesters? No Logo...
Advertising and The End of The World (1997)
5 min · Advertising & the End of the World features an illustrated presentation by Sut Jhally of the University of Massachusetts Amherst, the producer and writer of the award-winning Dreamworlds series. Part 2 is a 60 minute un-illustrated...
Culture In Decline #3: C.V.D. - Consumption Vanity Disorder
30 min · A new disease epidemic is rapidly spreading across the world: "Consumption-Vanity Disorder" - a disease spread not through a mutating virus or genetic predisposition – but through cultural “memes” – turning the world into a reflection...
Surplus - Terrorized into Being Consumers (2003)
50 min · Why is the lifestyle of consumerism a source of such rage today? How come the privilege of buying goods does not automatically lead to happiness? Why all this emptiness despite our wealth? Erik Gandini's approach through Surplus is to...
Affluenza (1997)
56 min · AFFLUENZA is a groundbreaking 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...


Don't have time to dive into a full-length doc? Here are several great short films to check out:



The Story of Stuff
21 min · From its extraction through sale, use and disposal, all the stuff in our lives affects communities at home and abroad, yet most of this is hidden from view. The Story of Stuff is a 20-minute, fast-paced, fact-filled look at the...
Be a Good Consumer. This Film Will Show You How.
5 min · This instructional video will teach you all of the essential habits and thought-patterns needed to be a good consumer. Of course, after watching, you may choose to opt out. 
Teenage Affluenza! What Can You Do To Help?
5 min · Do you know anyone that is suffering from teenage affluenza? This video takes a satirical look at the modern and very serious problem of Western affluence, and how the consumer-oriented values and culture of Western economies are...
The Story of Electronics
8 min · The Story of Electronics (2010) employs the Story of Stuff style to explore the high-tech revolution's collateral damage—25 million tons of e-waste and counting, poisoned workers and a public left holding the bill. Host Annie Leonard...
The Moneyless Manifesto by Mark Boyle
6 min · Mark Boyle's new book, The Moneyless Manifesto explores in-depth the social, personal, ecological and economic reasons why we may want to transition beyond money into a localised, gift-based economic model. In it he also provides a...
Network (1976) (excerpt)
4 min · A satirical look at the politics and power struggles of television executives as a network news anchorman turns the tables on the "ratings." Released in 1976, this movie was way ahead of its time. It remains continually relevant as TV...
When the Smoke Clearz
3 min · Spoken word slam on the materialistic and self-destructive nature of modern mainstream rap music, exploited, packaged, and sold by mega media corporations.
Black Friday's Rabid Zombie Shopping Stampede
3 min · Abby Martin remarks on the consumerist tradition of 'Black Friday,' urging holiday shoppers to buy local. LIKE Breaking the Set @ http://fb.me/BreakingTheSet FOLLOW Abby Martin @ http://twitter.com/AbbyMartin
The High Price of Materialism
5 min · Psychologist Tim Kasser discusses how America's culture of consumerism undermines our well-being. When people buy into the ever-present marketing messages that "the good life" is "the goods life," they not only use up Earth's limited...

Explore more films on consumerism here

What will you be doing on Buy Nothing Day? 

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