On Tuesday, independent movie houses on the Central Coast - and across the country - are all screening the film "1984," a cinematic version of George Orwell's 1949 novel. Organizers of the synchronized screenings say it's to promote discussion of the film’s fictitious events compared and contrasted with the reality of today’s political climate.
The screenings are taking place on April 4 because in the film and novel, it's the day main character Winston Smith begins writing in his diary, a main plot point. Sales of the book have risen since the November presidential election, topping Amazon’s best seller list in January.
United State of Cinema's Dylan Skolnick, who helped organize the widespread screenings, said many Americans believe descriptive elements of the book’s totalitarian government could be compared to statements by the Trump administration, such as presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway’s “alternative facts.”
“The obliteration of truth. Of fact. That war is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength. I mean, no one’s saying that’s the current state of things. But no one wants to go down that road,” Skolnick said.
The film’s screening will take place Tuesday in approximately 200 theaters in the US, as well as in Canada, Europe and New Zealand. On the Central Coast, theaters in San Luis Obispo, Monterey and Carpinteria are participating.