Nineteen Eighty-Four

Directed by Michael Radford, 1984

Michael Radford
John Hurt, Richard Burton, Suzanna Hamilton
Novel: ’1984′
George Orwell

Nineteen Eighty-Four Summary

Nineteen Eighty-Four is based on George Orwell’s novel of the same name. The population are subjected to psychological and physical slavery under the draconian rule of a global fascist one-party state.

5 Reasons To Watch Nineteen Eighty-Four

  1. Great cast, including Gregor Fisher in a serious role
  2. The not-quite black and white atmosphere
  3. The breathtakingly audacious propaganda (eg: the daily ‘Two Minutes Hate’)
  4. The vice-like psychological oppression (newspeak, thought-crime, it goes on)
  5. It’s a great film version of a dystopian classic

Nineteen Eighty-Four Themes

What Makes Nineteen Eighty-Four a Dystopia?

Where to start? This film is even more relevant today than when it was originally released. This was George Orwell’s prediction of “the most likely way that things were going to be”.

Power has been conglomerated into a global fascist organisation, split into a small number of regional superstates. The authorities have absolute power over their inhabitants, from their living environment, their food supply, their language, right into their very thoughts. The slightest hint of doubt or deviation from allowed patterns of behaviour is punishable by the most extreme measures of torture and forcible psychological reform.

Citizens are taught to wholeheartedly and enthusiastically believe everything told them by ‘the party’ even when it is nonsensical, inconsistent, or contradicts the perceptions of their own senses. They are lifelong slaves to a never-ending war machine, and are obligated to relish their slavery.

There is the continual push of ‘gradualism’ (the Fabian watchword), notably in the relentless degradation of language, to grind the human population down into a seething mass of subservient dullards. They are kept in a state of perpetual hysteria by the incessant sabre-rattling of war rhetoric, systemically weakened by malnutrition, and utterly traumatised by the vicious brainwashing of ‘newspeak’ and the inquisitional ‘thought police’.

Self-realisation, independence of destiny, freedom of expression, conscience, compassion – these thoughts are so far away from the mindset of these impoverished zombies that they can’t even conceptualise what is missing from their sphere of human experience.

Nineteen Eighty-Four Quotes

The three slogans of ‘The Party’:

War Is Peace

Freedom Is Slavery

Ignorance Is Strength

Big Brother: This is our land. A land of peace and of plenty. A land of harmony and hope. This is our land. Oceania. These are our people. The workers, the strivers, the builders. These are our people. The builders of our world, struggling, fighting, bleeding, dying. On the streets of our cities and on the far-flung battlefields. Fighting against the mutilation of our hopes and dreams. Who are they?

Nineteen Eighty-Four Trailer

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