Dozens of independent movie theaters nationwide are preparing to screen a film adaptation of George Orwell’s classic dystopian novel 1984 to protest President Donald Trump’s proposed plan to eliminate humanities agencies such as the National Endowment for the Arts.
Screenings of the 1980s film, which features the late John Hurt, will take place in more than 85 theaters across 34 states on April 4. The date marks the first time the story’s protagonist, Winston Smith, writes in his diary ― a major act of resistance against Big Brother, the figurehead of an authoritarian state that uses perpetual war, mass surveillance and censorship to control its people.
A portion of the proceeds will benefit local charities and organizations, according to a joint statement released on behalf of participating theater owners. They said they hope the event will “foster communication and resistance against current efforts to undermine the most basic tenets of our society.”
“Orwell’s portrait of a government that manufactures their own facts, demands total obedience, and demonizes foreign enemies, has never been timelier,” the statement reads. “The goal is that cinemas can initiate a much-needed community conversation at a time when the existence of facts, and basic human rights are under attack.”
Sales of 1984 spiked last month after critics said that Trump senior adviser Kellyanne Conway had made “Orwellian” remarks, which were eerily reminiscent of language used in the book. Conway claimed that White House press secretary Sean Spicer had provided “alternative facts” when he dubiously told reporters Trump drew the largest inauguration crowds of all time.
A complete list of participating theaters can be found here.