We Are In Brazil
Early last year, before the screening of the sci-fi film Brazil at the Science Fiction Museum, I gave a short talk that made two points: One, the film was suddenly relevant because of its theme (a state conducted war on terror); and two, for a better understanding of its inner workings, Brazil had to be examined in the light of the IRA’s bombing of Harrods (a department store in London) on Christmas day in 1983. In V for Vendetta, which is not a great film but certainly relevant, the theme of Brazil, which was released in 1985, is combined with the theme of 1984 (life in the kind of totalitarian state that Sandra Day O’Conner fears we are sliding into) to produce something that looks and feels like our post 9-11 world. V for Vendetta has many problems, particularly its concept of how a revolution works, which, as with all revolutions since the French one that broke open the world in which we still live, imagines a mass action against a repressive order as requiring the negation of the many, or the multitude (to use the language of Negri and Hardt), to form the one. Meaning, the revolution is only possible if the many surrender their differences and become a singular force. Granted, the unification of the many may ensure the overthrow of an oppressive order but, as modern history has shown us, shortly after a victory of this kind there is either, one, The Terror (read Phenomenology of Spirit for a fuller idea of this), or, two, The Betrayal (read The Wretched of the Earth for a fuller idea of this). Anyway, please go and see this action movie, V for Vendetta. It really deserves deeper consideration.