Filmmaker: Black Friday Symbolizes Overconsumption Death Spiral

Free Online Black Friday Film Screening Alternative to Mall Frenzy
 GrowthBusters Documentary
GrowthBusters Documentary
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Nov. 23, 2016 - PRLog -- Documentary filmmaker Dave Gardner recommends a boycott of Black Friday shopping. "We should be troubled by the annual 'consumption watch,' in which economists and newscasters hold vigil and await with baited breath the news that shoppers spent more money this Black Friday than last," laments Gardner. "Black Friday retail sales numbers actually measure how steep our overconsumption death spiral has become."

Every year as Thanksgiving in the U.S. approaches, "consumers" are barraged with advertisements from retailers about Black Friday specials. News stories feature speculation from retail analysts about whether the biggest shopping day of the year will be bigger this year than last. Retailer success depends on it.

Filmmaker Dave Gardner thinks this is a "Ponzi economy," and he made a film about it. He wondered: "Is a system that celebrates, and depends on, more consumers year after year, doing more consuming year over year, really healthy and sustainable?" His curiosity led him to produce the documentary film, GrowthBusters: Hooked on Growth.

A free online screening of the film has become a Black Friday tradition, as an alternative to joining the frenzy at the mall. This year, that free screening has been extended to a ten-day period, running from November 23 through December 2.

The film features such luminaries as Paul Ehrlich (author of The Population Bomb), Bill McKibben (co-founder of, Juliet Schor (author of True Wealth), Dennis Meadows (co-author of Limits to Growth), Bill Rees (co-originator of ecological footprint), Sarah Susanka (author of The Not So Big Life) and Jerry Mander (founder of the International Forum on Globalization).

GrowthBusters explores cultural obsessions with consumerism and economic and population growth, and their role in today's major environmental crises. The film's premise is perpetual economic growth is impossible, and in fact physical limits to growth are at the root of the ongoing economic malaise.

GrowthBusters director Gardner insists, "We cannot shop our way out of economic 'doldrums.' It's time to realize we've outgrown the planet. The planet is saying, 'enough.' We need to transition to a steady state economy focused on sufficiency rather than more, more, more."

Gardner admits this is a huge culture-shift, to stop measuring success by ever-increasing GDP, six-digit incomes, and trophy homes with luxury autos in 4-car garages. "This is the biggest challenge we've ever faced," he notes, "but if we can't get unhooked from growth addiction we face collapse of our civilization."

For the past three years, in observance of Black Friday, Gardner has arranged for "consumers" around the world to stop shopping for at least a few hours, and instead watch a free screening of GrowthBusters. "Stay home," Gardner advises, "pop some popcorn, and invite friends and family to join you for a film guaranteed to be a conversation-starter."

The documentary can be streamed for free from November 23 through December 2. Those interested can sign up for a free pass and then stream the film as often as they wish during that period. The movie can also be purchased or rented at any time via the film's website.

GrowthBusters is a non-profit, public education project of Citizen-Powered Media.

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Dave Gardner
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Tags:Black Friday, Environment, Film
Location:Colorado Springs - Colorado - United States
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