"American Shopper" is a feature-length film about one man's passionate and comic struggle to start an unlikely new sport, and about the citizens of a small town who overcome their initial skepticism and get swept up in his crazy dream. The film follows the stories of several townspeople who decide to participate in the sport and compete in the 1st National Aisling Championship, and whose lives are turned upside down in the process.
The unlikely new sport is called "aisling". The sport's inventor, Jonathan Sawyer, was inspired by something he had read in a newspaper article recently: "The average American shopper spends 6000 hours in his or her lifetime just shopping for food, which is the equivalent of shopping day and night without stopping for 250 days." As he looked over the store that afternoon, everyone appeared numb and bored pushing their little carts around, and it seemed sad to him that people had to spend so much time doing an activity that brought them so little pleasure. He started to envision carefully choreographed routines set to music, exhibitions of grace or balance, strength or speed, a cross between figure skating and skateboarding. He pictured people gliding and spinning through the aisles with their carts - handstands, jumps, cartwheels - as they collected produce and products from the shelves for points. There would be a panel of judges and a complicated scoring system. The smooth floors and wide aisles were just asking for it.
The film culminates in the final competition--the 1st National Aisling Championship. By this time the audience has formed a bond with each of the aislers, as well as with Jonathan. Will Jonathan Sawyer overcome the administrative and political headaches and succeed in making his dream a reality? Which one of the aislers will fulfill his or her potential out there on the supermarket floor? Choke under the pressure? Emerge victorious?
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This film originally aired as part of Doc-Debut, a series on Link TV highlighting unique and groundbreaking international documentary films. Each week features the U.S. television premiere of a new foreign doc, offering American audiences unprecedented perspectives on world events and culture, as seen through the eyes of individuals across the globe. The series also provides a unique outlet for films by independent directors and producers to reach a much wider international audience.
DOC-DEBUT airs every Sunday at 8pm Pacific and every Saturday at 8pm Eastern.