'1984' to be screened by cinemas worldwide in anti-Donald Trump protest

George Orwell’s dystopian classic has a particular resonance in 2017

Rachael Revesz
Tuesday 04 April 2017 13:51 BST
1984 Film Trailer

After Donald Trump stepped into the White House, the novel 1984 flew off the shelves and became the number one bestseller on Amazon.

Now almost 200 cinemas around the US and other parts of the world are planning a simultaneous screening of George Orwell’s dystopian classic in protest at the new President.

In the US, the UK, Canada, Croatia and Sweden, the “National Screening Day” has been organised for 4 April by Dylan Skolnick, co-director of the Cinema Arts Centre in New York, and Adam Birnbaum, director of film programming at the Avon Theatre Film Centre in Connecticut.

“In particular, this undermining of the concept of facts and the demonisation of foreign enemies [by the Trump administration] really resonate in 1984," Mr Skolnick told Al Jazeera.

“No one is suggesting that we’re living in Orwell’s world. But the road to that world is people just becoming disengaged and allowing their government to do whatever it wants.”

The novel is centred on protagonist Winston Smith, who resists the establishment in an authoritarian world, which is controlled by one political party amid war and Big Brother surveillance.

Critics of the Republican government say the story has echoes in today’s world, with officials’ fight against the mainstream media, their claims that unfavourable coverage is “fake news” and Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway’s defence of Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s “alternative facts”.

Most of the cinemas participating in the protest will donate a portion of the proceeds to civil rights and community organisations.

The film version of 1984 was released the same year and stars John Hurt.

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