Orwell's '1984' back in theaters in stand against 'alternative facts'

In the novel, published in 1949, Orwell wrote about a dystopian Britain - part of the mega-state of Oceania and sometimes called "Airstrip One" - ruled by English Socialism (Ingsoc), which manipulated reality and imposed a restrictive new language (Newspeak) in an effort to curb thought itself.

Tonight (Tuesday, April 4) at 6:30 p.m., Zoetropolis will join nearly 200 art house movie theater around the country to screen the film, "1984", Michael Radford's adaptation of George Orwell's famous dystopian novel.

Skolnick said April 4 was chosen as the screening date because it coincides with the day the story's protagonist, Winston Smith, begins keeping a secret diary - his first act of rebellion against the state.

Both screenings of the film "1984" at Cinema Detroit this week are sold out.

The event may have started as a national protest, but global theaters joined the cause, scheduling screenings in Canada, Sweden, New Zealand, Holland, Croatia and the United Kingdom.

The film is an adaptation of Orwell's book by the same name, and it was released in (you guessed it) 1984.

Heralded as "National Screening Day", two Americans - Dylan Skolnick, co-director of the Cinema Arts Centre on Long Island, New York; and Adam Birnbaum, director of film programming at the Avon Theatre Film Center in CT - organized the global affair.

And contrary to many reports, some theater owners across the country say they are not re-airing the film as a protest against the Trump administration, but rather as a ploy to get the president's attention.

The goal of the April 4 event is to "galvanize people at the crossroads of cinema and community" and foster "resistance against current efforts to undermine the most basic tenets of our society", the United State of Cinema said.

Participating theaters will donate a portion of the ticket proceeds to local charities and organizations or will use the money for the purposes of underwriting future educational and community-related programming, according to the United States of Cinema. "But the road to that world is people just becoming disengaged and allowing their government to do whatever it wants", Skolnick told Al Jazeera's Jillian Kestler-D'Amours.

  • Salvatore Jensen