Reverend Billy & the Church of Stop Shopping

Bill Talen, who wears a cleric's collar but readily admits he's a “fake preacher,” leads a band of activists who protest the “mall-ization” of Manhattan in this 59-minute video documentary. Their prime targets are Starbucks and the Disney Store, in part because the merchandise is made by underpaid third-world workers. Standing in front of the Starbucks on Astor Place, Talen describes the coffee shop as “the place they turn Bob Marley music into Muzak” and laments the “real diner” it replaced. The group also unleashes some anti-imperialistic rhetoric on New York University, which wants to raze the house where Poe wrote “The Raven,” saying the school will “keep pushing back the frontier” unless stopped. Their troublemaking is great fun, but director Dietmar Post sidesteps the tough questions, such as what goods these antiglobalists consume.

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