As part of the upcoming budget cuts, President Donald Trump has pledged to support to funding cuts to the National Endowment for the Arts. Such a move has obviously upset artists and those who support the arts and that includes the owners of independent movie theaters. In protest of this decision, numerous indepenent movie theaters have decided to air a special showing of George Orwell’s 1984.
The film, which stars John Hurt, will be shown in 85 theaters across 34 states on April 4. The date was chosen because in the original novel, and the film itself, it is the first time that the protagonist writes an entry into his journal. This is considered a major act of defiance against Big Brother. In the novel and movie, Big Brother is the personification of the totalitarian regime that rules the country.
Aside from simply being good literature, Orwell’s writing has coined the term “Orwellian” to describe tactics used by regimes to control their population. It is especially prevalent in terms of propaganda. Orwellian language is language that deliberately obscure and twists the truth. For example, the use of “alternative facts” to dispute the size of the crowds at an inauguration could be termed “Orwellian.”
A statement issued by the participating theaters states that Orwell’s message has “never been timelier.”
‘Orwell’s portrait of a government that manufactures their own facts, demands total obedience, and demonizes foreign enemies, has never been timelier. The endeavor encourages theaters to take a stand for our most basic values: freedom of speech, respect for our fellow human beings, and the simple truth that there are no such things as ‘alternative facts.’ By doing what they do best – showing a movie – the goal is that cinemas can initiate a much-needed community conversation at a time when the existence of facts, and basic human rights are under attack. Through nationwide participation and strength in numbers, these screenings are intended to galvanize people at the crossroads of cinema and community, and bring us together to foster communication and resistance against current efforts to undermine the most basic tenets of our society.”
Some of the film’s proceeds will go to benefit charitable organizations so beyond simply seeing a good film with a good message, viewers can help contribute to worthy causes. A list of participating theaters can be found here.
Check out the trailer for 1984 below:
Featured image via screenshot from Youtube.