Freedom is slavery. 20th Century Fox capture

Watch ‘1984’ on the Big Screen to Protest Trump

Art house theatres across America will show the totalitarian classic in protest

by MATTHEW GAULT

George Orwell’s classic novel of a fascist England has gone straight to the top of the bestseller lists. It’s no surprise that in 2017, 1984 is so popular and frighteningly prescient. Hollywood made Orwell’s classic book into a damn good film and released it in 1984. The movie is an anomaly — John Hurt plays protagonist Winston Smith with candor and grace and the story stays remarkably true to the source material.

In my high school English class, we often watched the movies that accompanied the books once we finished studying them. We passed over 1984 though, and when I asked my teacher she told me the movie was inappropriate for developing minds. Sex and violence are, it seems, best imagined and not seen.

Now, I’ll get the chance my high school English teacher never gave me. On April 4, 2017, almost 90 movie theatres in the U.S. and one in Canada will screen 1984 to protest the Trump regime. Buy a ticket and take the ride. It’s going to be a helluva four years and starting it off with a few minutes of hate is the right way to go.

“These theaters owners … strongly believe in supporting the National Endowment for the Arts and see any attempt to scuttle that program as an attack on free speech and creative expression through entertainment,” event organizers said in a prepared statement at its website. “This event provides a chance for communities around the country to show their unity and have their voices heard.”

The Donald, famously, wants to eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts to help save the taxpayers cash and offset a proposed spending increase for the Pentagon. Washington spends less than one half of one percent on arts funding in America. It’s small but vital change for the organizations such the American Institute of Graphic Arts, Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and the Greening of Detroit, all which rely on public funds to keep the lights on.

“Orwell’s novel begins with the sentence, ‘It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.’ Less than one month into the new presidential administration, theater owners collectively believe the clock is already striking thirteen. Orwell’s portrait of a government that manufactures their own facts, demands total obedience, and demonizes foreign enemies, has never been timelier,” the theaters explained.

The movie houses picked April 4 because it’s the day Smith begins keeping a diary of the totalitarian regime slowly crushing the soul from his body.

“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.”

The theaters charging admission will donate a portion of the take to local charities and organizations. So, in addition to watching a modern classic, buying a ticket both supports local art house theaters and local charities. Watching 1984 on April 4 is a no-brainer and the bare minimum you can do to support your local community.

Plus, you get to protest Trump by sitting in an air conditioned theater. There’s going to be a lot street marches in the next four years. Self care, always. Take a break and let John Hurt do the work for you.

“You can also find out more specific details on a venue by venue basis about special guest speakers and moderators, as well as charitable groups who will be participating and/or to which contributions will be made,” United States of Cinema explained.

The South Carolina branch of Defiant will absolutely be at the Nickelodeon theater on April 4, from the moment the clocks all strike 13 to the moment the bullet enters Smith’s brain and he realizes he loves Big Brother.

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