|added Sat August 26 2006 at 8:59 PM
|Before I begin, I must mention that the movie that I'm about to recommend is rated 'R' for graphic violence and some language. If this is a problem for you, you may want to wait for it to come on TV.
I just finished watching V for Vendetta. I actually didn't know anything about it when I picked it at RedBox, except that the name was familiar from it being in theaters. And it has Natalie Portman. I think I may have offended my roommate a little bit - he came in after I started the movie and instead of joining me watching it, he hid back in his room. I know that he's had issues in the past with roommates insisting on watching rated 'R' movies in the living room, but I put it on when he wasn't even home, so I won't worry about it too much.
It doesn't hide that it is making statements about our latest brand of totalitarian government. I don't think it's really meant to be taken literally (look here, this is what's going to happen if we stay on course), but as something to really chew on. I've read several people comment (I don't think it was in the movie, but may have been) that one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter. I think the real difference, though, is that V is not fighting the civilians. He doesn't hijack planes or set off train bombs in the middle of rush hour, he blows up government buildings and kills corrupt officials. He's more of a Batman fighting against an evil regime than a terrorist.
Irregardlessly (you can thank me later, Steve), the movie does give plenty of room for thinking. It is very Orwellian in it's approach to government, with the radical religious twist of "Unity Through Faith." I think this twist is important when considering the current government, where Bush regularly claims that he is acting in God's name. It's also important considering recent discussions on my own site (Oh, another disclaimer - don't watch the movie if you're offended by people admitting to being homosexual). This is an example of how the government could be ultra-religious and extremely wrong at the same time. The "Big Brother" leader probably sincerely thinks he's a religious person and is doing what God would want, but I challenge anybody to watch the movie and try to say that the resulting government is better for it.
So why do I recommend the movie? Because whether the "terrorists" are right or wrong (and I do think they're wrong when they start blowing up civilians), it's important for us to remember that they're people too, and maybe - just maybe - the other side has a point. Even more important, though, than who is right and who is wrong (war decides who is left, not who is right), is thinking about what our government can do to us if we let it.
Fear became the ultimate tool of this government. - V