Well I am back with what seems to be my movie of "whenever I get a chance". This week I am shying away from my previous two recommendations and picking something more socially important.
In honor of NDAA and SOPA, My movie this week: 1984! Coincidentally another one of the few good film adaptations of a novel.
1984 is based on one of the most important books ever put to print, and is one of the few examples of a film that does the novel justice. Its a story about a man, Winston, who functions within the Ministry of Truth in London in a dystopian 1984. His job is basically to re-write history according to what the party dictates. He eventually meets Julia and the two have what can only be described as a fling, but in the totalitarian and all-controlling arena with which the story is set... A simple romance and the simple things a couple romantically involved would do are outlawed. What ends up being revealed is a web of lies as the paranoid nature of the political party in control begin to be revealed.
Very simple things implied throughout the movie come into question. Is the Big Brother authority figure real? What about the supposed enemy of the regime? What is reality? These questions are all furthered by things like Winston's previous job and the concept of how people murdered by the state become "unpersons."
This movie defines the concept of emotional attachment, and much like the book tugs at the very essence of our beings by presenting an environment where the very freedom of thought and the ability to do what makes you happy comes into question. This is the type of movie that will change how you think about everything from human rights and how much power the government should have to just how important and valuable being yourself and letting others be themselves is.
Particularly when you realize that there aren't alot of special circumstances that created the situations we see here. The government is put in place by apathetic and devious people, Winston's job is just the literary representation of the elimination of the 1st Amendment, and the spark that brings Winston's very being into question is something most people on this planet will experience atleast once in their lives: Love for another person and being with that person.
The book this film is based off of was so powerful an adjective, Orwellian, was actually invented to describe processes, ways of thinking, and social concepts which are aligned to logically end up in the type of totalitarian regime seen in the film. Thats how powerful this story is, a word was officially added to the English language (yup, so official its a valid in Scrabble/WwF) to describe the very stepping stones of the political philosophy in this book.
This film is available on Netflix, and its a very powerful hour and 45 mins. This book was arguably the first truly mainstream work of dystopian fiction, and honestly its yet to be topped. This movie pays a great homage to the book and adapts the story to a visual median in a truly great way.