My Favourite Movie
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched V for Vendetta. The Wachowskis are among my favourite creators in the world. The minds that brought you the Matrix and later Sense8, among many others, took the source material from the seminal comic from Alan Moore and did the near impossible, made a great comic book movie that also served a political statement.
The Role of the Rebel
The story of V, is one set in a dystopian future. One where a charismatic leader has capitalized on fear, economic struggle, despair and our worst tendencies towards one another. Sound familiar? Although originally written as a response to Thatcherism in the UK, the film’s release in 2006 had a great deal of weight with the sloping authoritarianism of George W. Bush.
V is the classic anti-hero, a seemingly laser-focussed vigilante hoping to avenge the injustices perpetrated on he and his fellow marginalized citizens. He is in fact a terrorist, and in 2006 it was a bold move to make a movie where we cheer for a terrorist.
Every year I look back on this film, it’s protagonist and the story to see if my understanding of the world has shifted enough to make me see this narrative in a different light. This year I was happy to say that it did. The line from the video above where V broadcasts his message to the people of the UK, he lays the blame for the decline of freedom and compassion at the feet of the population. He, is not without mercy, he understands the motivations that led the people to allow for the movie’s antagonists to take power. But the role of the rebel here is to be an uncompromising example, and to hold a mirror to society.
What’s Your Point Sandenn?
Well it isn’t profound. But every 5th of November it comes time to review my favourite movie. Some years I focus on the villains, some years on V and some years on Natalie Portman’s British accent. But this year it seems appropriate as we come out of a federal election, on the verge of municipal elections and a provincial one that could strike anytime, to think about the role of the people in the story of V.
I would end by paraphrasing a quote that the only thing that evil needs to succeed is for good people to fail to act. This is true but I would add that when we act out of fear it can be even worse, and there are clearly those in our world that like it that way