Escape! From the Cult of Materialism

2016 ,    »  -   20 Comments
Ratings: 8.10/10 from 256 users.

In the western world, the accumulation of wealth has become the ultimate symbol of success. According to the new documentary Escape! From the Cult of Materialism, this unquenchable thirst for more has made slaves of us all, and suppressed the most basic human virtues of decency, solidarity and compassion. A mosaic of inventively edited stock footage, animations and clips from various popular films, this enlightening documentary provides a brief but sweeping overview of materialism's origins, and its continued clutch on society today.

It all starts with simple desire. The drive to attain greater resources is understandable from a survivalist's perspective; after all, more sophisticated tools allow us better access to food and protection from nature's harshest elements. But over the years, this need has been manipulated by the corporatized machine of materialism. We no longer know where our food is coming from, and that impersonal relationship is making us sick and weakening our once harmonious relationship with the environment.

We purchase goods and services that don't nourish us, and produce an endless stream of pollution-inducing waste as a result. Our children die in wars that fatten the wallets of big industry. Even in the face of the 9/11 tragedy, Americans were urged by their president to respond by going shopping. Marketing is the platform for mass seduction, and we're entranced by its central message that possessions increase our personal value and social status.

The film argues that materialism's influence is all-consuming and unsustainable. The United States contains 5% of the world's population, but uses 25% of the Earth's resources. What will become of the planet when more populated countries like China and India begin to produce and consume at this scale?

In addition to illustrating the destructive brainwashing tactics of modern consumerism, the film also offers practical steps we can take to curb its ongoing dominance in our daily lives. These include a renewed reliance on local farmers and craftspeople, limiting our exposure to mass media, and banning the swarms of advertising from the vicinity of our schools.

Handsomely assembled and narrated with articulate insight, Escape! From the Cult of Materialism is an intelligent and thought-provoking film.

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20 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Jacob

    This documentary was hilarious! 10/10.

  2. bremp

    like it! :)

  3. OSP

    wow. this is some dumbed down patronizing sh!t right here. duh?

  4. mike m

    Only change needed to make a big turn around is to remove personhood from the corporate charters. What if a person lived forever and was ever growing richer? He, or she, would soon become more influential than you can imagine, huh?
    Well, that's what you got now.
    Just take away personhood, just that, and all would start to become manageable very quickly. Only those with too much college education would not see this.
    A corporation is not a person. It is a charter, a piece of paper. To call it a person seems, to me, blasphemous. It now has the right to give money to elections. Think about it!
    They say you can take away all the money from the rich and spread it evenly and soon they would get it all back because of their way of thinking. Well, then what's the worry? Take away personhood from something that's not and there will be no sweat!
    They will be fine and will prosper. Probably better than they are now because they would answer to the customer and government and become better citizens and be trusted.

  5. Oliver B Koslik

    The application of emotional intelligence is of the utmost importance towards transition.

  6. robby

    well done. it does seem (and the math agrees) that we are all an endless nothing, makes sense that we would create this reality just to pass the time, and that it is really all just an illusion.

  7. Joe Blow

    I really enjoyed watching this on my 100 inch tv!!!

  8. Phil Smyth

    Great comment and name Joe Blow have a drag on me ha

  9. Tony Vei

    A Good to book read is 'The Undiscovered Self' by Carl G. Jung, it's an easy 113 page read with complementary parallel lines, --- Salute, Very Good!

  10. Mani the point that living with fundamental needs and use the money and time for relationships, nature. Better than loans and rat race. Thanks

  11. Reza Hossain

    All understood, but to control own self. When friends drive better car or have better home how to control?

  12. BigB

    I think this is an extremely well done video that really gets at the truth of what's happened, and is still happening, in the USA. Probably only those who love greed will dislike this. Those of us who have raised our heads up out of the sand long enough to do some critical thinking will recognize the truth of it.

  13. nightowl

    Reza, could it be that your problem of how "to control own self" begins with your thinking that a particular house or car is "better" than yours? For example, if you and your friend's car both serve their transport function equally well, would you regard your friend's car "better" if it cost more? ...or was bigger? ...or newer?..or reached 100 km/h more quickly? Why, why any of these things?

  14. Russ

    Materialism is a clearly defined philosophical term, which has nothing to do with consumerism, the term you probably mean. I advise you to read some philosophy from Hegel, Marx and others if you want to be taken seriously.

  15. Lyn

    Excellent documentary. Everyone should watch this.

  16. Evilpilli

    I was bugged by this as well, but it turns out that there is such a thing called Economic Materialism, which fits the movie well, however Consumerism fits the bill even better, and I sent them a mail imploring them to consider changing the script, since it's a unfortunate potential source of miscommunication and misunderstanding.

  17. Dave

    I do think materialism and consumerism is a problem, and I do think truth should be spoken - but I think documentaries such as this one tend to embellish the truth (for shock value), which in turn leads to excessive equivocation and a propaganda technique known as "anchoring".

    If activists,etc want to be taken seriously they have to stop using the same techniques as the people/organizations/system they are tring to expose.

  18. Michelle

    When Michael Jackson wrote 'Man in the mirror.'
    The 'mirror' was of metaphorical origin.

  19. Claudino

    Amazing piece of work! Two thumbs up! - Does anyone know the name of the music track appearing approximately at minute 41:20 in the documentary?

  20. Chris

    @Claudino- I believe it's called An Ending (Ascent) by Brian Eno

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