Director: Rob VanAlkemade
Runtime: 60 minutes
TV Rating: TV14
What Would Jesus Buy? is 2007 a documentary film produced by Morgan Spurlock and directed by Rob VanAlkemade. The title is a play on the phrase “What would Jesus do?” The film debuted on the festival circuit on March 11, 2007, at the South By Southwest (SXSW) conference in Austin, Texas. It went into general US release on November 16, 2007.
The film focuses on the issues of the commercialization of Christmas, materialism, the over-consumption in American culture, globalization, and the business practices of large corporations, as well as their economic and cultural effects on American society, as seen through the prism of activist/performance artist Bill Talen, who goes by the alias of “Reverend Billy”, and his troupe of activists, whose street theater performances take the form of a church choir called “The Church of Stop Shopping,” that sings anti-shopping and anti-corporate songs. The film follows Billy and his choir as they take a cross-country trip in the month prior to Christmas 2005, and spread their message against what they perceive as the evils of patronizing the retail outlets of several different large corporate chains.