About 200 movie theaters worldwide screened George Orwell’s “1984,” a classic novel brought to film where after the events of World War II, a dystopian world was erected, and freedom became no more than a distant memory.
Labeled as “National Screening Day,” the event was organized by Adam Birnbaum, director of the Avon Theatre Film Center, and Dylan Skolnick, co-director of the Cinema Arts Centre on Long Island. The idea came to be shortly after Trump was elected, and they believe 1984 is a suitable choice due to the association of the novel and how Trump demonizes his enemies.
1984: A take on a dystopian future
The artists behind the event placed April 4 as the date for the screening because that’s when 1984’s protagonist starts writing his diary to rebel against the government, as he is not supposed to have free thought. Shortly after the announcement, over a hundred theaters worldwide joined the artistic protest.
Although the reality is very far from what is proposed in 1984, it is a novel where freedom of will and thought are put into perspective, creating a scenario where even children have become tools of oppression, and people are fodder for the political system.
The story’s protagonist works at the Ministry of Truth where books, propaganda, and public information is altered to reflect the Inner Party’s interests. The protagonist rewrites newspaper articles as they are kept in the historical records; the systematic altering of evidence ensures that the government is “always right” when it comes to facts, and disproving vaporization punishes it.
The novel has become a classic due to its concepts and eerily realistic images and elements. Another interesting idea in 1984 is that of 2+2=5, in which a person is forced to believe an obviously false statement in such a way that the individual itself starts accepting it. The idea is that, if everybody believes a proposition, then what if not perceptions make it true or false. The antagonist tells the protagonist that control of perception and thought are above all truth and how reality stands as it is.
“Our concern is the idea that the only answer is the one coming from the mouthpiece running the (Trump) administration and that there’s this effort to sort of snuff out anything but that. If nothing else, we hope that people will continue to be voices of opposition to some of the practices that are currently being employed by the government,” stated Birnbaum.