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This March marks the 17th anniversary of the release of the iconic film “V for Vendetta.” It’s impossible not to reflect on how the film’s dystopian themes continue to resonate in today’s political climate. Released in 2006 and adapted from Alan Moore’s graphic novel, the film tells the story of V, an anarchist vigilante fighting a totalitarian regime in a futuristic Britain.
This film is a warning about the dangers of excessive government power and the erosion of individual freedoms, which is chilling and prescient because of the close resemblance some of its events bear to recent ones.
“V for Vendetta” depicts a society in which government has become an oppressive force, exploiting fear to justify surveillance, censorship and repression of dissent. The film’s eerie parallels to contemporary events, both in the United States and around the world, are striking. For example, we can see echoes of the film in the cancel culture, the blocking of social media accounts, and the role of Big Tech in shaping public discourse.
In today’s increasingly polarized political climate, it is critical to recognize the value of dissent and the free exchange of ideas, regardless of whether one agrees with them or not. The film serves as a grim reminder that when government or powerful entities can silence opposing voices, the result is a society that stifles creativity, innovation and progress.
“V for Vendetta” highlights the importance of a free and independent press, as well as the consequences of media manipulation in shaping public opinion. The government in the film uses propaganda to maintain control, similar to how some politicians and institutions today seek to control the narrative through biased media coverage and fact-checkers.
The film also emphasizes the dangers of trading freedom for security. The world of the film became definitively dystopian when, after a pandemic secretly caused by the government, people turned to strong, centralized authorities for protection. However, “V for Vendetta” warns against this impulse, showing that sacrificing individual freedoms in the name of security leads to an insidious erosion of personal liberty and the rise of tyranny.
Nor does the government’s obsession in V for Vendetta with gender and sex issues go unnoticed. Although it is shown in the film in the opposite direction to the current one, the truth is that it is not much different from the fact that the government keeps the population under pressure and divided by trying to impose specific sexual preferences, as a distraction and to keep people entertained on those things and not on the lack of freedom.
Finally, one of the most compelling aspects of “V for Vendetta” is the character of V, who serves as a symbol of resistance against tyranny. Although his methods are extreme and morally ambiguous —he intends to enter parliament to blow it up, not simply stroll through it— they force the viewer to question the role of individual action in the face of oppression. V’s unwavering commitment to dismantling the totalitarian regime underscores the importance of personal responsibility in preserving freedom and the sanctity of individual rights.
Yet we are afraid to post something for which we can get our social media accounts blocked, we are put in fear to comply with ridiculous anti-pandemic measures, fear of losing our job for an unfortunate comment, or being imprisoned for political opinions with exemplary sentences, and so on.
The political elites, especially those of the parties in government, seem to be perpetrating in our faces all kinds of crimes of corruption, espionage, treason, drug trafficking and even child abuse, while they know they go unpunished, and people feel powerless.
One of the most remembered quotes of V for Vendetta is that “people should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people”, but sadly we have seen how less than 20 years later, fear of the government and its collaborators in Big Tech and the media has been normalized.
Ignacio Manuel García Medina, Business Management teacher. Artist and lecturer specialized in Popular Culture for various platforms. Presenter of the program "Pop Libertario" for the Juan de Mariana Institute. Lives in the Canary Islands, Spain // Ignacio M. García Medina es profesor de Gestión de Empresas. Es miembro del Instituto Juan de Mariana y conferenciante especializado en Cultura Popular e ideas de la Libertad.
Social Networks: @ignaciomgm