A coalition of cinephiles concerned that 2017 is starting to resemble 1984 are joining forces to protest President Trump.
On April 4, more than 180 art-house theaters - as well as five venues in Canada, one in England, and one in Sweden - will screen Michael Radford’s film adaptation of George Orwell’s dystopian classic in condemnation of the Trump administration’s policies.
The screenings are being organized by the Art House Convergence and United State of Cinema, the latter of which said in a statement, “Orwell’s portrait of a government that manufactures their own facts, demands total obedience, and demonizes foreign enemies, has never been timelier. 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.'”
The statement added that the 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.”
Released in 1984, Radford’s film is the second such adaptation of Orwell’s book (the first came in 1956) and stars the late John Hurt as Winston Smith, an everyman who rebels against a totalitarian regime. The April 4 date for the 1984 screenings was chosen to coincide with the date of the first entry in Smith’s resistance diary.
The screenings are free, though some theaters are asking attendees to donate to the American Civil Liberties Union. A list of participating theaters is available on the United State of Cinema website.