Fahrenheit 451 Is Closer Than You Think
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Photo: Literary Hub

Fahrenheit 451 Is Closer Than You Think


In the new version of the ”Fahrenheit 451” movie, released in 2018, the screenplay is slightly different from the classic book by Ray Bradbury. The movie itself was rather weak - the lack of mass scenes could not be compensated for by superior computer graphics, and the constant nightly adventures cause fatigue for the viewer. In general, the movie looks boring, although in the current political moment it is worth paying attention to nonetheless.

The main character Guy Montag, played by Michael Jordan, is black. And his immediate superior and anti-hero, respectively, in the person of Captain Beatty (Michael Shannon) - white. Although the rest of the actors represent people from different ethnic groups, the opposition of Montag and Beatty creates an allusion to the manifestation of racism. Moreover, unlike the idea of ​​Bradbury at the end of the film, the main character dies in a fire at the hands of Captain Beatty. Although he manages to fulfill his mission and send a transmitter with a pigeon to Canada.

Burning books is a meta-form of state censorship in its extreme form. The fires of the Inquisition and the persecution of dissidents in National Socialist Germany were prototypes of the action that inspired the author to write the novel. Ironically, Bradbury's book was also censored at the initial stage in the US.

The modified version written for the movie screen is, ultimately, the same kind of censorship. Why? Because the winner in the movie is Captain Beatty and there is no beginning of the war, which is described in detail in the novel. Should this be taken as a hint at the triumph of the total state in real life?

After all, rewriting history and fake news is one of the general tendencies of US social and political life. If Donald Trump accuses CNN of propaganda and disinformation, then this remains at the level of controversy. But there is no real alternative that could provide quality information to ordinary Americans. Small editions and websites of enthusiasts do not count. They physically can not resist corporate media. And social networks along with new means of communication have proven to be on the side of the camp of the politicians and oligarchs, and not of the people. The elimination of the pages of various authors in Facebook is like burning books together with the owners' houses in ”Fahrenheit 451.” After all, in the era of cyber-democracy, the real identity of many citizens is inextricably linked to their social media accounts.

Author: John Raven