What Would Jesus Buy? World Premier at SXSW

SXSW 2007

What Would Jesus Buy?, a new feature length documentary about Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping, is having it’s world premier on March 11th at the The Paramount Theatre. The film is directed by Rob Vanalkemade and produced by Morgan Spurlock (Super Size Me and 30 Days).

No one has ever consumed as much as Americans today. And at no time do we consume more than at Christmastime. As the holiday shopping season grows longer, and the malls open earlier, we’re losing something we may never get back. Performance Activist Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping are on a mission to Save Christmas from the Shopocalypse. Backed by his Gospel Choir, the Reverend travels coast to coast to address the shopping addictions which afflict us. The Church saves souls through parking lot revivals, cash register exorcisms, and more; ultimately leading to the Reverend’s arrest on Christmas Day.Our exploration also includes informative visits from psychiatrists, politicians, kids and their overspent parents, and others, each helping to examine our holiday season and other conditions challenging Americans year-round.

I ran into Reverend Billy, Morgan Spurlock and the film’s editor Gavin Coleman in the lobby of the Hilton in downtown Austin. They are all in town for the premier, including the 40 person Church of Stop Shopping choir. It should be quite an event. There’s a second screening in at SXSW on Saturday March 17th, also at The Paramount Theatre.

This is second time I’ve had a chance encounter with Reverend Billy. Last month I came across his Starbucks protest in New York just after he had been arrested.

photo credit: Scott Beale