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Welcome To 1984: Seven dystopian fiction films to help grasp our political climate

 

On Sunday, the Brattle Theatre is presenting a double feature of 1984 and Francois Truffaut’s adaptation of Fahrenheit 451. They’re showing these films to celebrate National Library Week, but on some level they may be showing solidarity with other cinemas likeCoolidge Corner, Brooklyn’s Nitehawk, and some 200 other theaters which screened the former on April 4 as a form of passive resistance against the pseudo-dystopian forces within our own government.

Of course, dystopian fiction doesn’t begin or end with those two films, and we’ve provided a selection of other movies you can watch on your favorite streaming services to further explore the genre. Prepare to be bummed, folks.

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La Jeteé (Filmstruck)

This 28 minute short, directed by master filmmaker Chris Marker in 1962, served as the inspiration for Terry Gilliam’s Twelve Monkeys, but it’s a brilliant film in it’s own right (and some of us actually believe it might be *gasp* better than that movie). In it, a man travels back in time to prevent a plague from destroying the world, only to be caught in a time loop he witnessed as a child. It’s told mainly through black and white still imagery, sound design and narration, and Marker, who passed away in 2012, never had a more concise display of his considerable powers as an artist.

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