On April 4, 1984, Winston Smith, the hero of George Orwell’s classic dystopian novel 1984, begins his rebellion against a familiarly dystopian world - one "held in a grip of fear, a world of absolute conformity, continuous surveillance, organized hatred and ceaseless war"- by starting a forbidden diary and writing in it, over and over, "Down with Big Brother." With a deranged loser-in-chief bringing that world ever closer and to honor Smith's now-increasingly-vital bravery, almost 200 independent movie theaters will screen Michael Radford's 1984 film adaptation, starring John Hurt, on Tuesday April 4, 2017 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.’" A share of proceeds will go to local charities, educational efforts and advocating for the National Endowment for the Arts.
The event, encompassing 185 cities across the country and beyond as far as Canada, Sweden and Croatia, was organized by a New York theater owner who helped found the national United State of Cinema, celebrating "the crossroads of cinema and community." The showings, including three in Maine, are aimed at galvanizing resistance to Orwell's profoundly bleak vision of a future the future symbolized by "a big black boot stomping on a face." Write the organizers, “Orwell’s novel begins with the sentence, ‘It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.’ (We) 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.” Winston Smith, then as now: "There is truth, and there is untruth."