Director: Michael Radford
Writer: George Orwell, Michael Radford
Stars: John Hurt, Richard Burton, Suzanna Hamilton, Cyril Cusack, Gregor Fisher
Countries: United Kingdom
In the year 1984, rocket bombs and rats prey on the inhabitants of the crumbling metropolis of London. Far away on the Malabar Front, a seemingly interminable war rages against Eastasia. The Ministry of Truth broadcasts ceaselessly to the population via its inescapable network of telescreens. These devices, which pervade all aspects of peoples’ lives, are also capable of monitoring their every word and action. They form part of an elaborate surveillance system used by the Ministry of Love, and its dreaded Agents, the “Thought Police”, to serve their singular goal: the elimination of “thoughtcrime”. Winston Smith is a Party worker, part of the vast social caste known as the “Outer Party”, the rank and file of the sprawling apparatus of government. Winston works in the Records Department of the Ministry of Truth, the section charged with modifying historical news archives for consistency. When by chance, Winston uncovers incontrovertible proof that the Party is lying, he embarks on a journey of self-questioning. In doing so, he becomes a thought-criminal. Winston begins to notice that a young Party member, Julia, is watching him. She wears the distinctive sash of the ultra-zealous Anti-Sex League, and Winston fears that she is an informant. However, to his surprise, she reveals herself as a subversive, and they embark on an illicit and dangerous relationship. This prompts Winston to explore deeper the blur between propaganda and reality. Ultimately, it leads him to O’Brien, a member of the Inner Party who sets Winston on an irreversible course of discovery.