AffluenzaShopping malls have really become the centers of many communities. Children, as well as adults, see a shopping center as just the natural destination to fill a bored life. Through revealing personal stories, expert commentary, hilarious old film clips, dramatized vignettes, and "anti-commercial" breaks, Affluenza examines the high cost of achieving the most extravagant lifestyle the world has ever seen. Last year, Americans, who make up only five percent of the world's population, used nearly a third of its resources and produced almost half of its hazardous waste.

Add overwork, personal stress, the erosion of family and community, skyrocketing debt, and the growing gap between rich and poor, and it's easy to understand why some people say that the American Dream is no bargain. Many are opting out of the consumer chase, redefining the Dream, and making "voluntary simplicity" one of the top 10 trends of the '90s. Affluenza travels across the country to show you men and women who are working and shopping less, spending more time with friends and family, volunteering in their communities, and enjoying their lives more.

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Ratings: 5.65/10from 23 users.

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19 Comments / User Reviews

  1. JohnD22

    Sometimes when I buy something i don't need, I feel guilty immediately afterwards. My home is filled with stuff that I'm trying to get rid of, but not throw away. The mess makes me feel it's less of a home. Now whenever I buy something, I try to ask myself I really need it or just want it.

  2. Kayla

    SMH ! I think I have Affluenza. Every time I get paid I spend maybe 50-100 dollars on anything. Although I don't spend my entire paycheck I do shop just to shop. It's addicting, especially if your a girl. I shop when Im depressed or bored. I can spend all day in a mall but not all day in the library. Its kind of sad now that I think about it. I need to focus more on my studies.

    Kayla San Martin.

  3. John Henle

    Hasn't the marketplace pretty much always been the center of most communities? The Roman Forum comes to mind, and I'm sure that's not the first. I would be shocked if this isn't purely a natural function of humanity, and it would unnatural for it to be any other way.

  4. Yusiley S

    This doc as well as "What Would Jesus Buy?" give out a message of finding out your true priorities in life and not follow some fad which is quite wasteful (in so many ways than one). These docs aren't stating that you live a life out in the forest.... just be more conscious when you buy something and to limit it. Buy that which can last longer, so it wouldn't end up in landfills. The three R's (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle) are preached about numerously, because they work and they actually bring about a sense of happiness which wasting doesn't. Again, it's all about prioritizing that which is really important to life. Unfortunately, this doc is as relevant today as when it was made 14 yrs ago... only in this time/decade it's amplified by ten folds(aka far worse... aka we're *beep*ed).

  5. alaina zboralski

    anybody know what year this was made>? trying to find it on the net

    1. Yusiley S

      It was released in 1997. Check it out in the Bullfrog films site. I hope my response helped. Peace be.

  6. ranii02

    i wonder how the producers feel now reflecting back 14yrs..and to find how sadly we havent changed as radically as they hoped. i admit i can be materialist (being a teen, and a girl!) but im cutting down a lot! no smartphone for me, or really cool headphones, or new pair of shoes every couple of months.

  7. Hambone Littletail

    Two years ago, I walked away from my six-figure job; I sold all of my homes (except one, which I rent for $700 per month, which is my total income); I got rid of both my gas-sucking cars; I gave away 99.5 percent of my material possessions (every material possession, except of course my rental house, that I own would fit into the pickup truck I no longer own); paid off all my credit cards and sliced them up (my Home Depto card alone was $22K); took all my money out of the bank and put it inot silver (which has almost tripled in two years, by the way); and became voluntarily unemployed and homeless. I'm still alive to talk about it; I am a better person for it; and (most importantly), this is a healthier planet for it. Of course, it is Friday night, and (once again), I have found myself TOTALLY ALONE, not to mention the fact that I haven't been laid in a year, because NOT ONE PERSON I know has joined me in my save-the-planet dive into radical voluntary simplicity (or non-radical voluntary simplicity, for that matter.) If any of this piques your interest, come find me on Youtube at Humptydumptytribe, and let's talk.

    1. Yusiley S

      Um... if you are truly homeless and have no possessions... how come you have a youtube channel and for that matter, how are you on the internet? Most net cafe places charge for online access. Also you have a camera... you haven't really got rid of all of your material possessions. Seriously you're not truly all the way 100% homeless and unemployed... you have a trailer and have access to the net. :/ Sorry but I'm not convinced that you went all the way as you're stating here.

  8. Maxine

    @ alleycat43

    Saying "I mean r@#$%^&* in the true sense of the word" does not make that reference any less offensive.

    But I agree with your comment about "americancer". "Affluenza" is merely a symptom of that frightening and insidious disease. Unfortunately, it's infecting the rest of the world. There is no easy cure. Most likely, we shall all die from it.

  9. alleycat43

    @ achemsrazor

    not trying to pick a fight or anything BUT...

    I notice you always have to get your 'tut' in about creationism, ID, etc. personally i think, in this instance, Ted made a valid point and it was well put. if you had never seen him before and didn't know he was a mentally r@#$%^&* i@#$% (no offense to mentally challenged people, I mean r@#$%^&* in the true sense of the word) you would have agreed with him. Maybe you should give the rest of it a go.

    As for the docu. I'm Irish and 'tis nothing we didn't already know. To be honest I'd be more worried about 'americancer', it's been rampant here since the 70's. surely affluenza is just one symptom?

    Have a nice day :)

    oh ya and @lolwut, you're funny, thanks for keeping the IQ average down it makes me look smart. N1

  10. Henry

    @ lolwut everything you said stuck to me like glue... Would you be my therapist? lol.

  11. Maxine

    Our society certainly seems to have embraced a consume-and-discard mindset. Bigger, better, faster, more remains an anthem for many of us. We're still trying to "keep up with the Joneses" (whoever they are), and routinely convince ourselves that poverty and need outside our tiny frames of reference have nothing at all to do with us. This insatiable need to fill our empty lives with the next must-have product will be our undoing. We are our own worst enemy.

    It's hard to stomach anything that has the stink of James Dobson or Ted Haggard on it; but I believe this film was on to something. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like the next generation is going to be much help.

    PS lolwut is probably in denial!

  12. John

    I think lolwut is a corporate banker or something. The stinking Capitalist swine corporations control this nation and everything we do. To hell with them. Since the recession I'll bet many of them fell through the gigantic hole in the economy that they caused for themselves. We need a socially responsible government and a law against idiots who think we can keep sustaining the status quo. Autos, medicine, war, whatever, we are all so broke and overworked without health insurance or even vacations in this nation that most of us are on the brink of a nervous breakdown. Abandon ship I say!

  13. Al

    Yeah lolwut, you´re so damn right!! amazing response.
    Let´s keep consuming, let´s keep buying more than we need,
    let´s keep trashing this planet, who cares if our children will
    have a lot less than we do now, you´re so spot on!!

    Your type of mentality is what is keeping people at war, by soldiers defending the interests of the corporate leaders worldwide, thank you very much for your wise input.

  14. Achems Razor

    Was okay till halfway when the true nature of this doc. surfaced.

    What else, but religee's again!! Dr. James Dobson on focus on the family religious organization, with the all-star Ted Haggard presiding!!

    Quit watching then.

  15. Julius


    Right on. This film is pretty hilarious though, no doubt.

  16. lolwut


    This is ridiculous. Do you want to know what the REAL disease of our society is? We all want a scapegoat. We all want to blame someone else, or invent a social ill so that WE don't have to be responsible for our own lives or our own happiness. There is no such thing as "affluenza." This is shameless anti-corporate nonsense.

    "We have too much stuff, and the stuff is making us unhappy. We are too selfish. Shopping malls are centers for people to try to fill bored lives, blah blah blah"

    A society that has access to stuff is a GOOD thing. Stuff equals refrigerators, modern medicine, automobiles, air conditioning, etc. These things unquestionably improve our standard of living.

    Now, if you lead an empty, lonely, bored life where you judge your success and happiness by the crap you own, is it SOCIETY'S fault? Is it the fault of the evil capitalist marketing machine? NO! Look in the mirror you shallow fool! YOU and YOU ALONE are responsible for your life and your happiness. If you honestly believe that an iPhone will make you happy as a person, but you don't bother to watch your kid's soccer game, you are an irresponsible fool.

    Bored? "Empty" inside? Get a hobby. Spend time with family. Go back to school and learn something new. Go teach English in China for godsakes. Do SOMETHING, but understand that YOU are responsible for your life and making it better. It's called responsibility. Jeez.

    /end rant

  17. Julia

    Spend more time with family and friends and you won't feel emptiness inside to fill with products/shopping.

    Life's short and we better spend it wisely and HAPPILY!!
    And don't confuse happiness with surrounding yourself with things!! It's the immaterial that matters!:)