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Reverend Billy & The Church of Stop Shopping

  • Fogartyville Community Media & Arts Center 525 Kumquat Ct Sarasota, FL 34236 USA (map)

Americans, according to Reverend Billy, lead fake lives: we gobble up the mono-culture peddled by transnational conglomerates; we buy whatever stores sell us; and, consequently, we live consumerist fictions. We become, in his words, "tourists in our own lives."

Dietmar Post's Reverend Billy & The Church of Stop Shopping focuses on Reverend Billy (NYC performance artist Bill Talens) and his devout group of disciples as they crusade against the synthetic and corruptive aspects of today's hyper-consumerist culture. Talens tirelessly labors to organize "actions" ranging from choir-singing protests to rooftop speeches that urge people to stop shopping and to realize the threat lurking beneath the veneer of commodification.

Concerned with how transnational corporations "colonize" our mental-scapes and destroy local neighborhoods, the charismatic "preacher" thrives on staging infiltrations of the Disney Store or boycotts of Starbucks, even if it means frequent run-ins with the NYPD.

In the style of Direct Cinema, filmmakers Dietmar Post and Lucia Palacios expertly observe - without interruption - Reverend Billy in action and confrontation. As a result, the most rewarding aspect of Reverend Billy & The Church of Stop Shopping is its proficiency in accessing Talens' truly human side - his humor, self-deprecation, and intelligence - which in turn reveals what is genuinely empowering and inspiring about the man and his mission.

Presented by Transition Sarasota. Co-sponsored by the Peace Education & Action Center and WSLR 96.5 FM Community Radio.

$5 suggested donation. Optional potluck starts at 6pm. Film at 7pm, followed by facilitated audience discussion.