November 5, 2013

BLOG: Film enhances sense of patriotism

James Bright, Managing Editor,
The Express-Star

CHICKASHA — I love today.

Every year, I have a quiet evening at home with a healthy meal, some wine and a screening of a film that touts true patriotism.

Today is the day that shall never be forgot. It's the fifth of November.

Now, for those who don't know, this date marks the anniversary of a group of rebels' failed attempt to blow up Britain's Parliament building several centuries ago. One such rebel, Guy Fawkes, was captured and hanged for his treason. Initially, this day was celebrated to commemorate a triumph of government over a dangerous rebellion.

Fast forward to 2005 when the then Wachowski brothers canonized Fawkes in a film interpretation of Allen Moore's graphic novel, V for Vendetta.

Now, I think it's important to note that I am a huge fan of the film and only a moderate fan of the comic. The Wachowskis depict the title character as a revolutionary on a quest to upend a tyrannical government and restore power to the people.

Moore's V is essentially an anarchist, and I am just not a fan of anarchism.

The film is well done. It features solid performances from Natalie Portman and Hugo Weaving. It's visually appealing and aesthetically wonderful.

But this eclipses the real beauty of this movie as a connector and political aphrodisiac.

I was 19 when I first saw V for Vendetta, and I took away a sense of political discourse and pride in my nation that wasn't there before. This film fosters a love for freedom and respect for our country unlike any other. It depicts a world similar to Orwell's 1984 that is sobering regardless of political orientation. Unlike 1984, V for Vendetta gives viewers a hero, who does more than try to commit "crimes" in secret. The protagonist attempts to restore the country he once loved. And the best part, he wears a mask. Similar to a common theme found in the recent Batman films, V continuously states that a hero can be anyone. At the end of the film, viewers see hundreds marching in spite of military oppression.

This is beautiful imagery, which beckons the patriot in everyone's soul, and this is why on Nov. 5, I always remember by watching this film I love, remember the country I love, and, despite political rhetoric from both sides of the aisle, remember we are still free.