V for Vendetta: A Great Movie Well Ahead of Its Time
Made in 2005, some elements of V is for Vendetta feel quaint. The death toll from the virus that is released on the population to allow an autocratic government to take over is nothing compared to what we’ve experienced with COVID. In the States we’ve got over a million dead and there are still millions who refuse to get vaccinated or even acknowledge that it is an ongoing reality.
If you haven’t seen it, you’re in for a treat. Starring Hugo Weaving, whom we never see without his mask, and Natalie Portman in an excellent role, it is more applicable than ever.
Set in the future, in England, we learn the United States has broken down into civil strife, St. Mary’s Virus has ravaged the world, and a neo-fascist party has seized power in England. Not too far off where we’re heading. There are crackdowns on atheists, homosexuals, Muslims, Jews and other undesirables. Sound familiar?
A single figure, V, who wears a Guy Fawkes mask, blows up the Bailey on 4 November, and promises an even bigger explosion a year from then.
Hugo Weaver meets Natalie Portman who is out after curfew and being accosted by “Fingermen” — secret police. He rescues her and then shows her the way to true civil disobedience.
The prison scene for Natalie Portman is a brutal way to show how a person can learn to overcome fear: by accepting the reality of death.
The Wachowski’s of Matrix fame helmed the movie. It is the story of a revolt against fascism. There was, of course, controversy over the adaptation from the original comic book. However, I think the film gets a strong message across. Will we stand up for ourselves against the corruption that is flooding our countries? We are living through a rise in hate and intolerance that grows stronger every day. We watch as states and school districts ban books, accuse teachers of indoctrinating and ‘grooming’ children, there is a large anti-LBGT backlash and civil liberties are being curtailed by those who seek power. We are devolving to our lowest common denominator. And most are allowing it to meekly happen. The message in the movie is that we can stop it if we work together and take action. Will that happen?
I tried a different spin in my post-apocalyptic novel, Burners, where I focused on what will happen as the already gaping chasm between those with money and those without grows stronger and then throw in a cataclysmic event such as a world-wide EMP and what the result will be. Science fiction often accurately predicts the future and sometimes even undersells the threats.
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