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 more stuff, but less time, and our quality of life seems to be deteriorating. By using personal stories, expert commentary, hilarious old film clips, and “uncommercial” breaks to illuminate the nature and extent of the disease, AFFLUENZA has appealed to widely diverse audiences: from freshmen orientation programs to consumer credit counseling, and from religious congregations to marketing classes.
With the help of historians and archival film, AFFLUENZA reveals the forces that have dramatically transformed us from a nation that prized thriftiness – with strong beliefs in “plain living and high thinking” – into the ultimate consumer society.
The program ends with a prescription to cure the disease. A growing number of people are opting out of the consumer chase, and choosing “voluntary simplicity” instead. They are working and shopping less, spending more time with friends and family, volunteering in their communities, and enjoying their lives more.