Dir. James McTeigue. Wri. Alan Moore. Prod. Joel Silver, Larry Wachowski, Andy Wachowski. Perf. Natalie Portman, Hugo Weaving. DVD. Warner Bros. Pictures, 2006.
Set in the fictional year 2030, a totalitarian government reigns over the United Kingdom. Corruption is evident where individuals with contrasting ideas from the government are being punished. They are considered terrorists who bring harm to the nation, thus most of them are secretly murdered and those who escape go into hiding. The government’s aim is to preserve the system and avoid revolts, maintaining peace in the nation.
An individual citizen who may present a threat to the government system almost always disappears through the night. Suspicions are, government authorized groups abduct individuals who may posse threats to the current system.
Among the features of this government is its gender bias. Homosexuals are imprisoned and sentenced to death, as shown in the character Valerie Page.
A centralized television network is being controlled by the government. Facts that may affect the faith, trust and belief of the citizens are hidden and replaced by those that are favorable to the government. Information is kept from the public so that the totalitarian government system will remain and the citizens will continue to believe that their government is proficient in protecting them and their interests.
Even among government officials, information is constrained because of security issues. The chancellor has a group of advisors who are fully aware of the real events taking place.
Top secret evidences especially regarding inhumane projects are stored away or even disposed so no leak of government cruelties can be traced.
The media is manipulated by political groups to control events. An example is the election of the chancellor where the people were made to believe that without a totalitarian government chaos will prevail and there would be no security.
The totalitarian government under the Norsefire party V for Vendetta defies most if not all laws of the Declaration of Independence. For example, there is no human equality when the government imprisoned Valerie Page for being homosexual. Although in the surface, the Norsefire government in V for Vendetta is dedicated to the people, in actuality, they protect the government from the people’s free will, which is completely opposite the ideals of the Declaration of Independence and opposite any type of government’s values for that matter.
The ratification of the new totalitarian government headed by Norsefire was during a chaotic event in the fictional American history of the film. Norsefire gained power by offering refuge in their new government system amidst the chaos that erupted in the course of the film’s history.
In contrast to the ratification of the Constitution in American history which was during a time when officials could take time to review the Constitution for its level advantages and disadvantages, the ratification of Norsefire’s government was a result of the people’s fear for their security. The Norsefire party who secretly was behind the bioterrorist attack and the people’s fear won the elections as a result of the party’s unethical strategic plans.
Another deep contrast of the government depicted in the film is in the freedom of religion. In America’s First Amendment, there is a guarantee of freedom of religion. In V for Vendetta, Gordon Dietrich’s, a superior of Evey at the television network she works for, home was raided because of a satire he performed on his television show. But ultimately, he was murdered for possessing a copy of a Quran, the holy book of the Islam religion. In any type of government, religion may be expressed freely and is protected by the law.
In the United States of America’s Bill of Rights is the freedom of speech in Parliament. It is apparent that there is no freedom of speech in the government depicted in the movie. People were visited by the secret police for showing the slightest threat to the government.
The film was released at a time when terrorism was a burning issue in America. It conveys the warning to citizens of their own government. In light of the 9/11 tragedy, conspiracies claiming the event was by the government itself surfaced (Norman). Bio-terrorism within a nation is exposed as a likelihood, especially for political means. The movie is believed to be an exaggerated and simplified version of the Bush administration (Jackson).
The film is extremely biased against extreme right-handed types of government. In the film’s case, this is the totalitarian government. It is biased for liberals and anarchists. It shows all evils of a government and depicts a terrorist as its hero. The government is shown to be extremely cruel and unjust and the hero is shown as a terrorist. V is labeled a terrorist by the fictional government, which fits the description, but because his aims serve the freedom of his people, the film portrays him a hero.
The movie was based on the graphic novel of the same name penned by Alan Moore. Moore started out writing graphic novels with superheroes as central characters and transitioned to more political issues as he gained popularity and independence from major comic book publishers.
He is praised as the best comic book writer (Khoury 10) and hailed by some as the most important British writer in the last fifty years (Doyle-White). He is known to be an occultist and anarchist and known to write comics on the themes of conspiracy and occult (Johnyb). In some reports, he is also rumored to be a “ceremonial magician,” one who performs long and complex rituals of magic.
Lectures and books in politics offer very stringent ideas of governments. They however do not take into account human instincts and emotions. In text, politics is very direct. But I see that most political materials are optimistic of its ideas. It is people who govern and in reality, people are prone to mistakes, influences, and primal instincts.
Thus, society is tremendously complex because actions in society are influenced by human passions. Corruption is also not included in texts but is a fact of life and government, varying from nation to nation. It would be more helpful if there was a variable of human in political discussions but then, these tend to produce inappropriate situations from parties.
I also learned helpful information on the totalitarian type of government. The totalitarian type of government is ruled by a single political party. In V for Vendetta’s case, it is the Norsefire party. People have little freedom because the government is permitted by law to control them.
I understand that there are other forms of government besides a democratic government, namely, dictatorship, totalitarian, theocracy, monarchy, parliamentary, republic, and anarchy. These types of government administer how the government operates. Our module is about American History. Perhaps in some courses, other types of government, whether in economical or political fields, may be explored in more depth.
I absolutely love this film. It’s dramatic, controversial, and heartwarming.
The movie was hard to understand on the first viewing, and even after the second, it was still a bit confusing. Something that cannot be denied though is the message that the film was trying to get across – that corruption and fear can be pushed to their limits by the very people a nation has trusted to protect itself.
Although some have contended that the movie was directed at the Bush Administration, I don’t quite believe so, considering it was adapted from a graphic novel by a British writer. It did scare me a bit when I found out that the said writer was a known occultist.
I believe all forms of government have its pros and cons. This movie puts the totalitarian form of government in an extremely bad light. I thought the form of government shouldn’t be blamed because it is people’s greed and corruption that causes a nation’s undoing.
Almost everyone, if not everyone I know was raised in a democratic government. We are always passionate in protecting freedom of any sort. This does not mean I disapprove other types of government, but for a nation that has grown in history in a particular type, I would imagine that society would have a very hard time adjusting, if ever a change will occur.
From the first scene, the movie speaks loudly to all lovers of freedom. I believe this is what draws so much praise from me because it is the total opposite of what I think is a utopia for a nation.
My favorite line from the movie is “People should not be afraid of their government. Governments should be afraid of their people.” It sends a very strong message, one I believe gets lost in the everyday humdrum.
Doyle-White, Ethan. “Occultic World of Alan Moore.” Penacle. 2009.
Jackson, Alex. “V for Vendetta.” Viddied Reviews. Web. 10 January 2012
Johnyb. “Alan Moore – Occultist Writer Behind V For Vendetta.” Edge Media. 13 October 2011. Web. 10 January 2012
Khoury, George. “The Extraordinary Works of Alan Moore. TwoMorrows Publishing. 25 August 2003.
Norman, Joshua. “9/11 conspiracy theories won’t stop.” CBS News. CBS Interactive Inc. 11 September 2011. Web. 10 January 2012