“War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength. Big Brother is watching you.”
A dark tale of human resilience, George Orwell’s dystopian vision of a totalitarian future is a landmark of science fiction storytelling. Adapted for the screen and directed by Academy Award nominee Michael Radford (Il Postino: The Postman), 1984 tells the story of Winston Smith (the legendary John Hurt, The Elephant Man), a cog in the machine who is employed to rewrite the history books for the Ministry of Truth in order to support the current party line and perpetuate a false legacy, all while under the constant surveillance of Big Brother. Disillusioned by the state of affairs and ill with the burden of lies, his life takes a horrifying turn when he begins a forbidden love affair and commits the crime of independent thought—his first act of rebellion is keeping a simple journal, an offense punishable by death. Sent to the Ministry of Love, he is placed at the mercy of O’Brien (Richard Burton, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold), an imperious leader determined to not only control Winston’s thoughts, but crush his soul.
Preceded by the short film 2084
Taz Goldstein. 2015. 4 m. NR. US. English.
In the year 2084, the fate of mankind will rest in the hands of a total moron. Directed by Taz Goldstein, and co-written by Goldstein and Byrne Offutt, 2084 is an experimental sci-fi comedic short loosely based on Orwell’s original work. The film peers into a possible future where ignorance truly is strength—as professed by Big Brother himself in “1984.” In addition to garnering a coveted Vimeo Staff Pick, 2084 has played several festivals including the Palm Springs International Shortfest, Savannah Film Festival, and the Miami International Science Fiction Film Festival.
As a nonprofit arts organization, the Jacob Burns Film Center strongly believes in supporting the National Endowment for the Arts and is committed to the preservation of free speech. As such, a portion of the proceeds from this screening will be donated to Pro Publica, an independent, nonprofit newsroom that produces investigative journalism in the public interest. For more information on this National Event Day, including a full list of participating cinemas, please visit The United State of Cinema’s website.