After many years of hearing about George Orwells’ book 1984, set in a dystopian future in which the people have committed themselves to the ultimately totalitarian regime of the big brother state, I decided to watch the film adaptation starting John Hurt. A good film which I certainly enjoyed watching, an interesting sight to experience as the depiction  an all powerful state crushes any individual freedom beneath the jackboots of terror. Safe to say I was enlightened by my viewing of this masterpiece.

Prior to this I always found myself quite partial to the idea of a powerful state, immense and all encompassing in its very nature, with a highly militaristic style and astonishing propaganda. All of a sudden this changed, for as the film wore on, I witnessed what can only be described as the greatest betrayal of mankind, to be churned out by an doctrinal machine whose only goal is the security of the state, efficiency of the workers and to ensure loyalty to the party. In a system where free thought is a crime, sexual freedoms diminished and a failure to follow the party line almost certainly involves a visit by the state police. It was terrifying.

As a means to control the populations attention, there were regular propaganda television broadcasts detailing great victories in the war between Oceania and Eurasia. These were broadcast along with regular speeches by party officials on TV screens erected in factories, places of leisure and even in the workers own homes themselves. Great posters of the party logo are erected on the side of flats, great metal badges on the sides of vehicles such as trains and helicopters and even on the side of infrastructure. Certainly the levels of propaganda which even puts the National Socialists and the Communist Party to shame, almost as if they spawned an offspring of unimaginable oppression and subjugation.

It was definitely an interesting film to watch, good acting on the behalf on John Hurt, incredibly captivating story and very believable tale of dystopian terrors. Nothing I’ve ever seen comes close to capturing the awe inspiring captivation of the final stage of authoritarianism like this film does.


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