Consumed: Inside the Belly of the Beast
Richard Heap (2011)
Consumed is a British documentary about the psychological basis of what the filmmakers call the “weird mental illness called consumerism” and “a kind of collective psychosis in which people value acquiring objects more than their children, partners or friends.” The film maintains that there are unique evolutionary features in the human species that make us uniquely susceptible to pro-consumption messaging.
The documentary begins by emphasizing the grave implications of “unfettered” consumerism on humankind’s ability to survive on this planet – both from the perspective of ecosystem destruction and growing resource scarcity.
They go on to analyze the primary biological drives that underlie most human behavior: the drive to survive and the drive to reproduce. Most marketing is deliberately aimed towards the latter. People who lack confidence in their ability to attract a mate are bombarded with messaging that…
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