Monday, September 25, 2006

V for Vendetta

V for Vendetta has been criticized for being pro terrorism.  It is also said that it attacks the Bush administration.  I would disagree that the movie is pro terrorism, and that if it is attacking the Bush administration, the Bush administration deserves to be attacked. 
In an Orwellian future, Brittan is run by a hypocritical police state.  The bureaucracy can do whatever they want while preaching religion, while the people are ruled by fear of the "fingers."  Dissenters are sent away, never to be seen or heard from again. 
In the midst of this, one man with knowledge that the government is behind the evils that agitated the peoples fears and allowed the existence of a police state makes a stand.  He does so behind the guise of a Guy Falkes mask.  He makes his stand with explosions, fireworks, and music. 
The use of explosions to blow up public buildings is what is considered being a terrorist act.  I will give two reason why it is not.  First:  The building were blown up at night, so no innocent bystanders would be harmed, let alone V warned of the second building a year early.  Second:  V was overthrowing a tyrannical government.  We was a one man militia. 
To prove my second point let me quote the Declaration of Independence.
"We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed, by their Creator, with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.
That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."
Yes, you read that right.  It is the right of the people to abolish such a government.  Sure the movie is set in England, and I am sure the British hate this document.  The criticism, however, is coming from the USA, where this document is the source of our freedom.  It is not terrorism to want to be free and to take that freedom by force.
The movie was good.  The message was true and honorable.  Good prevailed over evil.  Natalie Portman is hot!  I have never read the comic so I can't compare on that front.


Nicky Fingaz said...

I thought it was a half way decent interpretation of the comic. The comic had more space to pace the story. It had a much more gradual approach that helped you feel for the characters more.

The themes were primarily a reaction to Thatcher (and by association Reagan) policies at the time, but it was an exaggeration and a warning for effect as many symbolic stories are. The movie version did change some things to mimic criticisms of the Bush administration vs out of date Thatcher digs.

The movie version suffered from one major difference that was was inevitable. The comic was a straight up, undebatable endorsement of anarchism (ala Bakunin, Kropotkin, Malatesta, Goldman, etc.) and so went much further politically than Hollywood will ever be ready to do.

Hollywood can be socially very liberal and they will allow mainstream pictures that get about as lefty as FDR, but no further. So I knew ahead of time the anti-capitalist, anti-hierarchy, pro-democracy message of anarchism would be neatly trimmed to merely pro-democracy.

But overall a decent flick.

Budd said...

But I skew to the right, so the pro democracy thing without anarchy appealed to me.

I can't figure out why Mary hates it. Besides the obvious of she hasn't seen it.

Nicky Fingaz said...

Money-wise dropping the anarchist stuff was pretty much mandatory. You can't get a wide crossover audience (i.e., you and the vast majority of Americans) with an opinionated piece. It was a pure business decision. Movie-making is a business after all.

As for Mary, well she probably focussed on the digs/attempted parallels at Bush and used that to dismiss it. Which is understandable to some extent, most folks don't want to see their side get bashed.

It could also be because Mary doesn't have a problem with dictatorship or authoritarian regimes on principle.

We had a discussion once which basically implied that she would favor a Christian dictatorship as the best form of government. I'm not sure how much was joke and how much was truth we'll see if she reads this. heh heh heh.