V for Vendetta: truly revolutionary or just designed to look that way?

On Nov. 5, 2012, Guy Fawkes Day, Truth and Shadows published an article by Barrie Zwicker about Fawkes and the Gunpowder Treason and its relation to false flag events throughout history. That article mentioned the film V for Vendetta and the proliferation of the famous Guy Fawkes mask that followed the success of the movie. Zwicker’s piece quoted an earlier one by Veterans Today’s Kevin Barrett, which sang the praises of the film. I appreciate both of these excellent articles, but I have a somewhat different take on the film as this article explains.– CM
November 5, 2015

By Craig McKee

It is crafted to be one of the most satisfying moments in all of film history.
In the climax of the Wachowski sibling’s V for Vendetta (spoiler alert), an underground train filled with explosives is detonated as the train passes beneath the British Parliament buildings. The buildings are blown to bits to the tune of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture while thousands in Guy Fawkes masks look on in awe. Fireworks add to the celebration and to the theatricality of the event.
The crowd removes their masks to reveal they are just ordinary people (even those who were killed during the story reappear). The population is apparently freed from the iron-fisted rule of a Nazi-like regime. Comic book villains get their just desserts, and a new world is born.
The film, based on a graphic novel of the same name, has been branded as revolutionary by some. And to be sure, it does some very remarkable things rarely seen in Hollywood films. Most notably it lays out the idea clearly that a tyrannical government might actually carry out terrorist attacks against its own people and blame those attacks on religious or other extremists, and its overt references to 9/11 and other false flags are unmistakable. One government official offers this possibility concerning the attack against Parliament that the so-called “terrorist” has promised to carry out: “The red report in front of you has been vetted by several demolition specialists. It concludes that the most logical delivery system for the terrorist to use would be an airborne attack.” Sound familiar?
It’s interesting that this film, which depicts an underground train being used in a “terrorist” attack, was completed just one month before the 7/7 London Underground bombings of 2005. Not only does this film appear to anticipate 7/7, but the Wachowski’s 1999 film, The Matrix, seems to have anticipated 9/11. In that film, when Neo (Keanu Reeves) is being questioned by police, we see that the expiry date on his driver’s licence is Sept. 11, 2001. Later, after he has swallowed the red pill, we see what appear to be the twin towers in ruins. This is just one of many films that appear to feature foreknowledge of the event.
So does V for Vendetta stand alone in recent film history as a truly revolutionary statement—one that slipped past Hollywood’s ideological sentinels? Does it truly advocate a revolt against the kind of shadowy tyranny we live with today? Or is it a cynical manipulation of its audience, a neat little bit of misdirection that ends up reinforcing the “terrorist vs. freedom fighter” paradigm?
The debate over whether the film’s hero/anti-hero is a terrorist or a freedom fighter takes for granted that the government and the country are being threatened by an outside element—and by outside I don’t mean outside the country, I mean outside the power structure. The focus is on whether V’s use of violence (“Sometimes violence can be used for good,” he says) is justified or not. One who believes in the official story of 9/11 might wonder whether the alleged use of violence by Muslim terrorists was justified. But those who have examined the evidence know that this is the wrong question.
The setting of this reworking of the “Phantom of the Opera” story is a fascist Britain in the near future, 14 years after a deadly virus has claimed the lives of almost 100,000 people (perhaps it’s appropriate that this article is being published 14 years after 9/11). At the outset, the film’s heroine, Evey (Natalie Portman), is saved from some corrupt officials and would-be rapists in a dark alley by a mysterious masked stranger named V (Hugo Weaving).
He invites her to a rooftop to watch a midnight spectacle that he has orchestrated—the explosive destruction of the Old Bailey Court House with full symphonic accompaniment. The explosions begin just as the calendar turns to Nov. 5, Guy Fawkes Day. (“Remember, remember the 5th of November, the gunpowder treason and plot. I see no reason why the gunpowder treason should ever be forgot.”)
The government spins the event as an “emergency demolition”—a nice bit of irony in light of the 9/11 demolition that the U.S. government isn’t taking credit for. The TV network where Evey works facilitates the deception by putting talking-head experts on the air to explain the reasons for the demolition, which they claim “had been planned for some time.”
Evey repays V for his earlier rescue by helping him escape after he has taken over the network to make an unauthorized broadcast taking credit for the destruction of the Old Bailey. We learn that V—who was the victim of biological experimentation that led to the development of the deadly virus deliberately released by the government to solidify its stranglehold on power—is bent on revenge against those who wronged him and wants nothing less than the destruction of the regime led by the Hitlerian High Chancellor, Adam Sutler (John Hurt). V’s plan one year hence is to destroy the Parliament buildings some 400 years after Fawkes is alleged to have attempted the same thing.
A celluloid ending
V for Vendetta is a film that is very aware of its own existence, with more than a mischievous hint of self-parody. At one point, Evey is talking to V in his underground hideaway about his favorite film, The Count of Monte Cristo. She asks whether the film has a happy ending to which he replies, with a handy bit of foreshadowing, “As only celluloid can deliver.”

V for Vendetta masks

The “audience” to an explosive revolution.

The ending of V for Vendetta is exhilarating spectacle at its grandest, the antithesis of the horrifying destruction of the World Trade Center on 9/11. The masked crowd at the end of Vendetta watches the show, looking just like an audience in a movie theatre. The imagery is not accidental. In fact, a major motif in the film encompasses that of theatricality, performance, illusion, and deception, the most obvious symbol of which is V’s own mask, which hides his face, his past, and his pain.
When V rescues Evey at the beginning of the film, he calls himself a “humble Vaudevillian veteran cast vicariously as both victim and villain.” When she thanks him, he says, “I merely played my part.” He treats her to a performance that features music and theatrical destruction. He quotes Macbeth, and Evey replies, “My Mom always read his plays to me, and ever since I’ve always wanted to act in plays, movies.” Later, he enlists her help: “I’m in need of someone with theatrical skills.” And finally, Evey is imprisoned for several weeks, she thinks by the government, but it turns out that the prison is another illusion and really a part of V’s underground complex.
All of these references to theater make perfect sense in a story that offers fascist ceremony and the illusion created by false flag attacks. Unfortunately, the idea that 9/11 and other supposed terrorist attacks are in fact deceptions perpetrated by the power elite, is undercut, and the public is insulated from the reality of the government atrocities in the film by its comic book theatricality. The villains are supremely evil, straight from the fascism of World War 2 and Orwell’s 1984. This reinforces the common Hollywood notion that if you just get rid of the obviously evil people in any system, you’ll solve all your problems.
(An interesting side note: The Guy Fawkes mask used by V has become a cultural icon, used in demonstrations and protests around the world. The irony is that each time one of the masks is sold, Time Warner receives a royalty.)
In the opening images of the film we cut back and forth between V and Evey as both dress in black in front a mirror while a far-right news commentator named Lewis Prothero rants about “Muslims, homosexuals, and terrorists.” As Evey and V leave their homes to walk through the streets we see close-ups of their feet as they seem to be walking towards each other. This is reminiscent of the opening shots in Alfred Hitchcock’s Strangers on a Train (One of the characters in Hitchcock’s thriller is even named “Guy”). The theme of mirror images comes up throughout that film just as it does in Vendetta. In a later scene, distraught after Evey has left him alone his hideaway, V throws his mask at a mirror, smashing it. In fact, V and Evey (her name suggests that she is the female equivalent of her masked savior) are shown as mirror images of each other in several ways, which culminates with her taking over V’s role in remaking the world at the end.
On the surface, V for Vendetta is about a masked freedom fighter who carries out revenge on those who victimized him years before while at the same time he works to liberate the country from totalitarian rule. The film seems to be suggesting that supposed “terrorist attacks” like 9/11 and 7/7 might be false flag operations just as is the release of a deadly virus in the film. What makes Vendetta compelling for those who believe 9/11 and 7/7 were false flags is that it confronts these very ideas. Most Hollywood fare sticks with surface level depictions of terrorism as “us vs. them.”
But there’s a problem. In the film, it is the hero of the piece who blows up the “symbolic” Parliament buildings as a political statement. The film buys into the argument about whether the man who seeks to destroy the fascist regime is a freedom fighter or a terrorist. Discussing the question of whether the strike against the symbols of brutal power is justified is just what we get now from the progressive left. It’s blowback for all the imperialistic policies of the U.S. government, they say.
Heroes and rebels?
With 9/11, 7/7, and other similar events, it is governments or powerful elements within governments along with elite globalist power brokers who are really the ones blowing up buildings and blaming scapegoat groups like Muslims. In Vendetta, it is someone fighting this power structure who commits acts of violence and destruction.
V for Vendetta does seem to offer a wonderful catharsis for a society (both the one in the film and our own) that is desperate for some kind of hope. But as with other Hollywood revolution dabbling, the film undercuts this very message in subtle ways. Without us being aware of it, the film and others like it steer us toward familiar territory:  they feed us a scenario where a single “hero” can overcome a system of oppression and set the world right again. The list of films that misdirect us in this way is endless. Here are just a few notable examples: Fight Club, The Adjustment Bureau, The Matrix, Enemy of the State, Conspiracy Theory, Dark City, The Island, Independence Day, The Truman Show, The Da Vinci Code, the Bourne films, and the Terminator films.
Now I’m not suggesting this can’t ever happen in real life, but the Hollywood repetition of this theme does lead us all to think that it’s easy to spot the ways we’re being oppressed and suppressed—to say nothing about it being possible to defeat our oppressors when we have Bruce Willis or Will Smith on our side.
In the real world, Hollywood and the rest of the corporate entertainment complex, along with the
Evey overcomes her fears.

Through her imprisonment, Evey becomes free.

mainstream media, combine to keep us ignorant of how we’re being deceived. Films like Vendetta tease us with hope that the truth isn’t so far from the surface, but then they betray us with subtle misdirection that discourages us from understanding what is stopping real change from happening.
Hollywood films most often attribute tyranny to bad individuals who corrupt flawed but basically benign systems. Again the list of films that deceive us this way is very long. Shooter with Mark Wahlberg comes immediately to mind. In this film, the government sets up a “patsy” for an assassination, but in the end we find that all the bad stuff is coming from one evil guy. In fact, the more evil these individuals appear to be, the more we forget about whether the system itself is impossibly corrupt and whether we continue to be manipulated in ways we’re not aware of.
During the illicit TV broadcast, V explains to the public how they managed to end up with a fascist leader:
“How did this happen? Who’s to blame? Truth be told, if you are looking for the guilty, you need only look in a mirror (there’s that metaphor again). I know why you did it; you were afraid. Who wouldn’t be? War, terror, disease—there were a myriad of problems that conspired to corrupt your reason and rob you of your common sense. Fear got the best of you, and in your panic you turned to the now High Chancellor, Adam Sutler. He promised you peace, and all he asked of you was your silent, obedient consent.”
So the people were confronted by war, terror, and disease, and they turned to fascism. In this film, tyranny, as far as V is concerned, was the result of the public’s fear and panic, not the cause of it as was the case with 9/11 and other phony “terrorist” events.
So Vendetta ends with us cheering the destruction because it is the good guys doing the destroying. This buys into the whole notion of the victims of oppression fighting back—after all, what they’re doing is justified. As long as the powers that be can keep us looking in this direction they can continue selling us the idea that destruction and conflict are directed against the state and against the ruling class by those who would oppose them.
This perspective is also reinforced in many feature films – notably Fight Club (like The Matrix, it was released in 1999) with its rebelling underclass that undertakes the destruction of other symbols of power (prominent “towers” in New York City no less). The theme is also the basis for the TV show Mr. Robot, in which an underground group seeks to take down the financial establishment by hacking into their computer systems.
So while I decry all the Hollywood compromises that undermine the real truths in V for Vendetta about how illusion and deception are essential elements in oppression, I do have to take some satisfaction from the fact that a movie that deals with a massive and deadly false flag operation also links that notion with the destruction of buildings for theatrical effect.
V says: “The building is a symbol, as is the act of destroying it. Symbols are given power by people. Alone, a symbol is meaningless, but with enough people, blowing up a building can change the world.”
But to know whether that change is a good thing or not, we have to understand who blew up the building (or buildings) and what their real agenda is.
The film did get one thing very right—that it is fear that controls us. And it is seeing through that fear and overcoming it with truth that is our only hope.


  1. One of the most troubling aspects of the film for me is the hidden message within that “You’ve got to be cruel to be kind” in the way that the female lead is betrayed and tortured by the anti-hero of the film.
    Generally I felt the film to be another trite & jejune comic book brought to the silver screen as empty spectacle and exciting entertainment. It passes muster on that account, which makes it’s vile hidden messages so much more powerful and disturbing.

    1. Willy, I don’t quite agree that the film is empty spectacle, but even if it is, that doesn’t mean there isn’t meaning to be found. Despite the criticisms contained in the article, I think V for Vendetta is a very interesting film and worthy of multiple viewings.
      As to V’s cruelty, there is a suggestion in the film that he represents the devil while Evey is associated with God. After she is liberated, she steps outside into the rain and holds her hands up to the sky (in a voice over she whispers, “God is in the rain”) as lightning crackles. Intercut with this is V holding his arms up in the same way and screaming in rage amongst the flames of the destroyed detention facility where he was experimented on.

      1. Hi Craig,
        Oh I think there are many moments of clever juxtaposition, and interesting theological and philosophical aspect to the film. What is troubling is that even as Evey is liberated and now supposedly acting as the “Hand of God”, it is the wrath of an angry god, as much vengeance as a vendetta…ie, the act of a dark god.
        But I do take your point, it is an interesting film, as are the others you mentioned in your article. FIGHT CLUB is one of my favorite films for the reasons we just discuss here.
        Tyler Durden (schizophrenic) is to my mind, one of the most original characters in literature and film.
        That this dual character finally overcomes his psychopathy, by being released from his schizophrenic state is in effect a more liberating moment for me.
        I found the atmosphere of the film more to my liking as well. The mood of the slums and lower class situations were noir at its most eloquent in my opinion.
        By the way, I do want to applaud you on a remarkably insightful essay here Craig. It is delightful!

        1. Thank you very much. Someday I’ll write an essay entirely on Fight Club. In addition to all the qualities you mention, I believe the film indicates foreknowledge (by someone) of the coming 9/11 false flag.

          1. Craig,
            We are coming up to the 52nd anniversary of the coup d’etat in Dallas in November on 1963.
            Have you anything at all to write about that this year?

          2. “I’m open to suggestions.”~Craig
            I might be able to offer one this year as there is a good amount of time before the 22nd…
            Let me see what I can do.

          3. Speaking of article ideas, at one point we briefly discussed what I term the Story Change(s) category of 9/11. You said you might write something on them at some point. Have you given that any more thought?

          4. This was a good while back; maybe a year or so ago.
            I’ve always found that all the official story changes are very damning evidence in and of themselves, and with few exceptions, it’s not really been covered very well. No one’s ever compiled a list, that is, of all the times it’s been changed. I’ll try to think of all the examples I can, but I know there are more than the few obvious ones that comes to mind. The timeline of what happened with the FAA has changed many times everytime they realized they left a hole. Cheney arrival times have changed. The guy (not Jennings) at WTC 7 changed his story. There was the guy who immediately said it was a controlled demolition maybe on the 12th, but he changed his story around the 20th (of September 2001). The thing is, those are the more obvious ones, but there are many more. As I realized more existed, I started kind of keeping a list going in the back of my mind of what they were. But now quite a bit of time’s passed (several years), and I seem to have let most of them slip from memory.
            Anyway, in the original conversation, you asked if I minded if you did a story on that. Of course, I think that’d be great. More people started chiming in with other various times the OS changed. I might try to run that conversation down when I get time, or else I might try to compile a new list.

          5. Clresu, that does sound familiar. And yes, it is a great idea. The FAA and Jennings examples are the first ones that come to mind for me as well. If you can find our conversation or begin a new list, that would be terrific. I can begin to do the same. It would make an excellent and useful article.

          6. Excellent! Sounds like fun. Give me ample time. Between work and normal life it might take me a while . . . I’ll pull out what books I still have (most I gave away) and start doing some searches and such. It could possibly include, because I think they’re of a similar nature, totally conspicuous retractions, which I think there are several of, too: one is the air force website taking down the info on having jets on stand by. (Sorry, I don’t remember what base that is, off hand.) Also, the FAA flight time ordeal was changed several times as they kept realizing additional problems.
            At any rate, I’ll start a file now and start adding to it.
            my email’s reece_sullivan@yahoo.com. Feel free to email!

          7. @clresu
            Cheney arrival times have changed.
            You mean his arrival in the shelter under the East Wing and then in the PEOC conference room?
            The 9/11 Commission Report (2004) states that he “entered the underground tunnel leading to the shelter at 9:37” and puts the latter at “perhaps 9:58” (page 40).
            Footnotes 209 to 213 reference, among others, these early documents:
            * USSS memo, interview of Rocco Delmonico, evacuation of the White House (Oct. 1, 2001)
            * Executive Summary: USSS Timeline of Events (Oct. 3, 2001)
            * Rice interview with Evan Thomas (Nov. 1, 2001)
            * Lynne Cheney interview with Newsweek, (Nov. 9, 2001)
            * USSS memo, OVP 9/11 Timeline (Nov. 17, 2001)
            * Cheney interview with Newsweek (Nov. 19, 2001)
            Some of these should be available from Aidan Monaghan’s (sp?) FOIA collection. I don’t know which were in the publicc domain at the end of 2001 already (Newsweek interviews? Evan Thomas interview?), and consequently what the story was very much prior to 2004. Do you recall the major differences? I recall one early news report claiming Cheney was rushed underground shortly after 9:03.
            What is the timeline today?

          8. I think you left one out, Jens:
            The interview with Mr. Fox, who stated that he had left his post to go take a leak at the time of the Great Chicken Slaughter. His statement was later fully corroborated by other foxes’ testimonies and the findings of the foxes in the Henhouse Commission.

          9. Craig,
            I have compiled a decent pile of story changes . . . in rough note form. How would you prefer I get these to you? Post them here or email them or some other way?
            (I still have quite a bit more to do that might take a while longer, btw).

    2. Thanks for this detailed review, Craig. It got me to watch the film.
      Similar to how Mr. Rogue expressed it initially, I found “V for Vendetta” to be essentially a comic book movie. Indeed as the film starts, right after the old Warner Brothers film studio footage, what appears on the screen in huge lettering is “DC” and underneath “DC Comics,” followed be another shot, “Vertigo DC Comics.” Very prophetic in this context.
      At the beginning, I thought of this film as being an update of the TV series “Zorro,” which I loved as a kid. The difference between “Z” (for Zorro) and the character “V” is that Zorro stood purely for justice (if memory recalls), but “V” had a vendetta (obviously) Also, I don’t remember TV’s Zorro ever actually killing anyone (could be wrong about that), tho he may have nicked a few and torn their clothing with his sword slicing in the letter Z. Nevertheless, V comes across as a guy you’d want on your side, IF you view violence as a way out of the mess V was (and we are) consumed by. At the end of the movie, we hear Malcolm X essentially mocking Martin Luther King with a speech on fighting back. This clip seemed to serve as a call for violence now, which would play right into the hands of the powers that be. In my view, nonviolence is the way to go, the main reason being (as Ghandi reportedly acknowledged) “they” have all the superior weaponry.
      You ask: “So does V for Vendetta stand alone in recent film history as a truly revolutionary statement—one that slipped past Hollywood’s ideological sentinels? Does it truly advocate a revolt against the kind of shadowy tyranny we live with today? Or is it a cynical manipulation of its audience, a neat little bit of misdirection that ends up reinforcing the “terrorist vs. freedom fighter” paradigm?” For me it is neither; just another movie, tho I liked the idea of the film’s revelation of governmental false flags and media manipulation. I also enjoyed how the main cop behaved at the end. A celluloid happy ending. I’m a sucker for happy endings (but see last paragraph).
      You also say, “V for Vendetta does seem to offer a wonderful catharsis for a society (both the one in the film and our own) that is desperate for some kind of hope.” For us? Really? I don’t see it. Certainly not for me as I have abandoned all hope of their being any undoing of the New World Order (at least not until Global Warming gets us all, as David Ray Griffin and others are predicting unless something drastic is done immediately, which I don’t see happening; as I see it, an ancient future awaits.).
      I didn’t like that there is never any explanation as to how V manages to suddenly appear in all the intensely secured places he does. He seems to have some magic power, but even that is never clearly addressed. It is hinted at with him engulfed in flames from the ill-fated experiment (again, comic book fare), but I found that to be unsatisfactory. (In contrast, for example, we know EXACTLY how Spiderman got to be Spiderman.)
      Also unsatisfactory is that when Evey betrays him to the “john” he (somehow) set her up with, she and he never discuss that (or did I miss it?). Later, after torturing Evey (the message here being that torture gets good results–geez!), V lets her leave out the front door thereby gaining knowledge of the location of his hideaway. With all that was on the line, how could he let her go like that? Love? Confident that she would not break if caught? Neither would be enough after twenty years of intense preparation. And she simply gets a false I.D. and no one tracks her down? Come on. Was her haircut THAT effective a disguise? Oh yeah, her friend in the supermarket didn’t recognize her. Please.
      Overall, I’d give this movie one star–the call to violence and “torture works” messages ruining it for me, despite the “happy ending.”

      1. Dennis,
        You are reacting to the film as a piece of entertainment only, which is fine. Yes, it’s a comic book movie (it’s based on a graphic novel, which is very much like a comic book), and there are plot elements that are not explained and don’t seem plausible, but this is not what most interests me.
        I am looking beyond that for what the film is really saying and for what it tells us about how our world works (regardless of what was or was not intended by the filmmakers). I think there is meaning in a lot of places that most people wouldn’t expect to find it, just as there is meaning to be understood from watching the evening news.
        As for my comment about catharsis, note that I said the film “does seem” to offer this, not that it truly does.

        1. thanks for the reply, craig.
          you state: “I am looking beyond that for what the film is really saying and for what it tells us about how our world works (regardless of what was or was not intended by the filmmakers). I think there is meaning in a lot of places that most people wouldn’t expect to find it, just as there is meaning to be understood from watching the evening news.”
          i haven’t watched the evening news in about twenty years.
          i submit that what the film may be saying to insightful people such as yourself, is lost on about 98% of the audience. maybe another < 2% may be awakened. so what does it matter to those others who have been awakened and to our cause, and what would we/they be able TO DO about it in any event? there is nothing in the movie that answers this ultimate question. as with all Truth theories, the question becomes, as it did on my street fighting days in brooklyn, "whataya gonna do about it?" back there and then, i had a way to deal with enemies. here and now, vs NWO, i see no options other than spreading the Truth, as you do here so well–sadly, to little practical avail.
          so where do we go from here? any answer in the movie? if there was one, i must have missed it–please indicate/identify if you saw a viable path to pursue.
          a movie such as this, one without directive, is useless as a political tool for "our side." if it would be useful to us, i submit that it never would have made it to the big screen.
          this movie, to my eyes and ears, suggests that violence is the answer. which is totally wrong, in my view, as previously noted, this suggestion is a trap for those who would participate in such an effort.
          sorry to have to admit that i see no way out of the NWO control. if someone else has an idea, i and others would "love to see the plan," as an esteemed rebel of note once previously articulated. see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aMiTqcB2tns
          my two cents,

          1. What to do? Vote for and support Bernie Sanders and/or any progressive candidate as a start in a better direction. It ain’t 9/11 truth but it beats the right wing alternative. In a more progressive atmosphere our odds improve for getting the truth heard and maybe even some justice.
            What do we want?
            9/11 truth.
            When do we want it?
            Now, of course but sooner or later will have to do it seems.

          2. Jimbo,
            Thank you for your reply. However, I view electronic voting as a rigged process, and Bernie as a mere, inept, pawn in the game. Wish it were otherwise.

          3. Jimbo,
            This is as naive as saying turn to the courts. The system is corrupt, Judicial, Legislative, Executive, and the Mass of the people themselves.
            We are dealing with a Pathological Society. Nothing will change for the better without apocalyptic disruption.

          4. “Nothing will change for the better without apocalyptic disruption.” – Hybridrogue1
            Yeah, well, good luck with that.
            Meanwhile back in the world where I drive on government built roads and get power from government regulated electric companies, etc., life is going on, improving even, especially with technology, even without 9/11 truth. And if that is the society in which I exist I want to make the best of it.
            Yes, the voting machines are rigged along with a host of other problems the conservatives have put in the way of “progress,” still, Obama somehow got elected and while he is awful in many ways, especially in the way he’s conducted the bogus 9/11 wars, there were more good things done by him than certainly Mitt Romney would have done.
            While the progressive media is truthful in the way they attack the right and often Obama, too, they are unfortunately 9/11 truth adjacent. They criticize the way the wars are fought but somehow dance around the fact that the 9/11 lie is was caused them. Do I hate them for that blindness? Hell yes. But I gotta drink clean water, drive on smooth roads, etc., so as long as they advocate for more public spending that I won’t hate them.
            I wonder sometimes how I would have felt if FOX news, Limbaugh or Glenn Beck had come out for 9/11 truth. Choose Life and 9/11 Was an Inside Job.

          5. Jimbo,
            In politics in the USA, and most other places too, progressives and conservatives, demopublicans and republicrats, right wing and left wing, are all on the same team and work for the same corporate masters. They ALL work together to take as much as they possibly can from us. They use classic divide and conquer strategy whereby they make people believe one “side” is fighting valiantly against the other. As long as we fight each other we never look at the real problem, which is the people running things.
            I have friends who say almost exactly what you just said except their bad guys are “liberals” and their solution is a purge of those “liberals” from DC. It is a sham, a facade Jimbo.
            I assure you my friend that the media you call “progressive” is just as corrupt and deceitful as the media you would label “conservative”. They too are in on the divide and conquer strategy. Honestly Rachel Maddow disgusts me just as much as Rush Limbaugh and believe me that is A LOT!
            I tend to agree with HR1 that it will take “apocalyptic disruption” to really make a difference however I am very optimistic about that actually happening where he may be a bit pessimistic about it happening.

          6. “Meanwhile back in the world where I drive on government built roads and get power from government regulated electric companies, etc.,”~Jimbo
            Ahh yes! Disney’s TOMORROW LAND!! … Come “true” And right above your head in a thought bubble is FANTASY LAND … And you actually think this is all real and true and can last for ever and ever in NEVER NEVER LAND…. Hahahahaha!!!!

          7. Dennis, I don’t think it’s about the film awakening people or finding a path to pursue. In fact, my concern with it is that it may awaken people to draw the wrong conclusions. That’s why I chose to write this article. I don’t think Hollywood films are ever going to lead us to a higher level of understanding about how to fix the world, but I do think they offer us many clues as to how we are being manipulated. And this is something we must understand before we even have a chance to change things.

          8. The problem with films like Vendetta and The Shooter is how they will tantalize a 9/11 truther like me and then pull back, doing “the just so far” dance just like Amy Goodman, Rachel Maddow. or Chomsky. So much of what the “progressive” films and the “progressive” pundits say is right on but when it comes to expressing even minimal doubt on the 9/11 “day of” narrative, saying something like “Yeah, but there was something fishy in the way the buildings fell,” well, it breaks my heart. They scratch my back creeping oh so close to where it itches and then stop. I hate that.
            I wonder how many of the Occupy Wall St. protesters were truthers. That crowd was similar to the finale crowd in Vendetta, some even sporting the mask.
            Meanwhile I read pundits like Tarpley and Craig Paul Roberts and listen to Mike Malloy who do it all, or more than the rest, and that is expose the problems, present solutions all while keeping in mind that the 9/11 story was a lie.
            Prior to Vendetta there were politically potent effective rabble rousing films like All the President’s Men where Watergate was the 9/11 of the time. Dunno how much courage it took to say the shit about Washington ATPM said but I would have thought someone by now would have said out loud that 9/11 was an inside job. Instead we got a senile man in HBO’s Six Feet Under screaming it as he is driven away in a straight jacket. That is when my wife looked at me and began to wonder.
            Meanwhile I will vote for and hope that Bernie Sanders will spread the wealth around more than Obama or Bush did and make shit better for all of us. 9/11 truth, sadly for us, will lose it’s meaning and in a few years, finally some decent film maker will expose the lie and by then my itch will be gone all by itself.

          9. So Jimbo you will just play along then with the false left vs. right charade?
            The socialist idea of distributing MY MONEY the way the government wants is a complete failure by the way. I would like to distribute my money the way I choose. For me the only viable option for our country to work well for the people is to restore it to the Constitutional republic it was intended to be. That is not going to happen with people stuck in the left vs right charade though. I am afraid it is going to be a full blown revolution sooner or later my hope is that it isn’t a violent one. I have no control over that though so we will see. Sanders isn’t going to help though and neither are any of the other phony candidates.

          10. I understand your point, Craig. But i would argue that we already know enough about how the public is being manipulated, i.e., via the media (mainstream and most of the so-called alternative) which serves as a public relations firm for the government while masquerading as a free press. And yes, of course, movies and TV shows play their part. Again, for me at least, it all comes down this: given what we do know, what can we do to actually change things? Sadly, I see nothing on the horizon that holds any real promise.

          11. Well, Dennis, I would argue that we’re talking about two different things. Of course, we are always trying to find ways to take positive action. That should always be the ultimate goal. and it can be pursued regardless of what else is being investigated. But illuminating the mechanisms of deception is an ongoing process that must continue if we are not to be kept several steps behind the powers that be. To say we already know enough is a very dangerous position to take, in my opinion.

          12. Craig, re: “But illuminating the mechanisms of deception is an ongoing process that must continue if we are not to be kept several steps behind the powers that be.” Good point. Can’t argue against it.

  2. What a wonderful surprise to see this and read it. Craig, your depth of film knowledge and your chops as a film critic shine (again) here. I fully agree with the criticisms you elucidate.
    I went back to the piece I wrote, that you reference, and was semi-shocked to see, even though V for Vendetta was not my chosen subject, that I failed to express more of my own critique of V for Vendetta in there.
    One of my problems with V for Vendetta was and remains the same as your point about violence being inflicted ostensibly in the cause of truth, or education or even public mobilization.
    On violence, the thinkers and leaders I respect most, such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., have ruled out violence as a means to a better world. At the same time I appreciate that if I were Vietnamese during the U.S. aggression against my country, my people, my village, my family, my ecosystem (think of Agent Orange) I would have found it difficult not to defend myself, my family, village and country with whatever means came to hand, including M-16s lifted from the bodies of dead aggressors 10,000 miles from their homes.
    But this distinction is missing from V for Vendetta. Physical violence in V is chosen as a response to violence against the mind by clever and overwhelming deception and propaganda. The key weapon to wield against deception is revelation, not howitzers.
    I like your comment that “In this film, tyranny, as far as V is concerned, was the result of the public’s fear and panic, not the cause of it, as was the case with 9/11 and other phony ‘terrorist’ events.”
    This brings to mind something I wrote recently in a different context: “The late horror film virtuoso Wes Craven (A Nightmare on Elm Street) said: ‘Horror films don’t create fear. They release it.’ Considering that coverage of false flag ops in the ‘global war on terror’ creates fear, it may be that zombie movies and the like provide therapeutic release—without the public knowing its fears are as fake as are the films that release their fears.” I think V for Vendetta would qualify for inclusion.
    In addition to your criticisms, there are others not treated in your piece. The main one–and it was a criticism that I had when I walked out of the cinema after seeing V for Vendetta shortly after its release in Toronto, which is why I’m surprised I didn’t include it in my November 2014 post–is as follows.
    At the culmination of the film, there’s this crowd of people who ostensibly have seen “the truth,” who are wise to the manipulation to which they have been subjected, and who reject the status quo. They presumably understand the corruption and stratagems of the dark forces including the state and state media that have misled them for so long.
    What’s not to like? What’s not to like is that there is no hint of what this crowd, that presumably also represents a general waking up of the British population, thinks should be done next! Not a hint.
    Of course a movie, like any other work of art political or otherwise, cannot cover the whole waterfront. Within its limitations and other misdirections, which you have put so well, the ending is more or less appropriate and definitely emotionally satisfying for those who have bought into the film rather completely.
    But the questions that occurred to me in that cinema as the final scene
    unfolded were, more or less in this order: “How are these people to proceed now?
    Now that they know they’ve been lied to about the important issues will they
    choose a leader (or will a leader spontaneously arise)? Who is to say these
    people will not fall for a new illusion of freedom and democracy? Do they
    realize what a long road lies ahead, and how much hard thinking and work
    will be involved in a true reconstruction of society based on truth first, and
    then justice, and finally peace?”
    I guess a deeper question, or the basic premise upon which these questions I had then rest, and still do, about V for Vendetta and generally, is whether even a modicum of a just
    society can ever be achieved. Not utopia, not nirvana, just a modicum. In
    other words, can we achieve, in some reasonably near future (10 years?
    20? 30?) enough societies to provide a critical mass of nation states,
    in which the very worst deceptions, injustices and wars would actually
    become part of the past and not part of the future?
    Is this achievable in light of human nature? And that (as it seems to me) over and over again when there appears to be significant societal change it’s a minority of psychopaths who manage to trick, seduce, bully, bribe, lie and manipulate their way into all important human organizations? And over and over their amoral, destructive and divisive instincts become the policies and actions (such as wealth accumulation beyond all reason and unnecessary immoral but profitable wars) of most governments or, really, the powerful movers and shakers of governments.
    I do hold some hope, but I agree that V for Vendetta provides little or no basis for
    it, nor is it a guide to a better future.
    Having said that V for Vendetta does serve as a thought-and-discussion starter, which your review proves and stimulates.

    1. Thanks, Barrie, I particularly appreciate your opinion on this subject, and you make a very good point regarding the ending. As to Craven’s very interesting quote, I might agree that the release of fear phenomenon is very real, but I would question whether it is therapeutic. I would suggest instead that our fears are being used to manipulate and control us.

    2. The movie appeals to populists ideations. This is the reasons it got mostly negative reviews in MSM (eg. review by Systems’s functionary David Denby of New Yorker http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2006/03/20/blowup-5). Populism is what the System and its Elite fears the most. It’s correct that one has to be very careful when playing with populism but in balance one may wonder if America would not have been a better place if some populist ideas espoused by people like William Jennings Bryan, Huey Pierce Long or Charles Augustus Lindbergh had won.

      1. “some populist ideas espoused by people like William Jennings Bryan…”~utu
        Yes, SOME of them. Certainly not his fundamentalist religious beliefs, that fly directly in the face of the unalienable rights of the individual:
        Bryan promoted ‘Prohibition’ (of liquor), argued against the teaching of evolution, in favor of teaching ‘creationism’ (Scopes trial), The results of Prohibition are still felt today, with the concept that the state has the authority to regulate what an individual eats, drinks, smokes, and thinks. All of such matters are utterly beyond the purview of government.
        Bryan was also a promoter of compulsive public education, and his arguments fell right into the laps of the schemers promoting the Prussian “Kindergarten” model of warehousing students for indoctrination purposes, not “education”.
        See: https://hybridrogue1.wordpress.com/2015/04/26/compulsory-schooling-indoctrination/

          1. Hahaha, yes indeed Utu, indeed he was. The Wizard of Oz was a quite thinly veiled treatise on the benefits of silver as opposed to the preferred metal of the elite classes, as well as an expose on the true nature of political power. And although Bryan promoted silver as a metal of monetary value, he was weak and squeamish under political pressure. Thus, a cowardly lion.
            Frank Baum was one from the same mold as Lewis Carroll, and his Wonderland series.
            I do favor Carroll as a wit and fantasy author. His genius in mathematics and encryption, is illustrated in his works of fiction.
            Have you ever seen the real Alice? She was quite the prepubescent seductress.

    3. In other words, can we achieve, in some reasonably near future (10 years?
      20? 30?) enough societies to provide a critical mass of nation states,
      in which the very worst deceptions, injustices and wars would actually
      become part of the past and not part of the future?

      I want to respectfully question your assumption here that justice is achievable through nation states, through leaders in government positions of power. I would question whether that system can ever be just, and wonder what effect it would have if state theft and violence were seen as no more just than that between individuals? I think that greater recognition of various forms of injustice, without the assumption that justice will be delivered by an institution of power might open better possibilities and different ways to begin to achieve it, actually.
      Slavery is no longer seen as a just form of activity due to its inherent violence and oppression. Have you heard of a state/government that doesn’t use violence and theft (and propaganda) as its tools of rule? How would it look without those tools? I have a feeling it would look like some old lawyers and professorial hacks trying to tell everyone else how they should live, and it would be completely ignored and laughed off. And in the meantime, people would get on with living their lives, growing food, with preparing for the future, with defending themselves and their communities. Conflict will always exist, but I would prefer the possibility of sporadic acts of injustice to institutionalized violence and theft as the norm.
      As a teaser, I think an interesting possible route to greater justice is ideas like the SAFE network (https://safenetwork.org). Private, secure, distributed file storage, contracts, money transfer, un-erasable public files, great encryption, messaging, and more, if they succeed.

  3. Well a fascinating article and subject here Craig! It just so happens that I am a movie buff myself and have seen V for Vendetta many times. I agree with you and Barrie about V’s use of violence and destruction being wrong and actually counter-productive to positive change. I think however you may have missed the main point of the film since you only hinted at it in your article and commentary afterward. The real point of the movie is about overcoming fear, in fact the movie is saturated with moments of overcoming fear, with Evey’s transformation after the torture and captivity sequence being the most prominent example. This message of overcoming fear is the primary focus in the film in my view. In fact V is quite fearless in the film and later on Evey is fearless as well after she faces her own death and refuses to talk to her captors.
    Another character who Evey stays with is the host of a TV program who is later beaten and dragged out of his home by the secret police, overcomes his fear and releases an unauthorized version of his show which heavily criticizes and makes fun of the evil chancellor. Although this character is killed he too has overcome his fear and is freed in the process.
    At one point V says to Evey after she comes through the torture sequence and faces her own death:
    “Listen to me Evey, this may be the most important moment in your life, commit to it.”
    Further in the scene V says:
    “You said you wanted to live without fear.”
    So we discover that V does what he does to Evey so she could escape her fear.
    Even the police detective goes through the process of escaping his own fear as he uncovers the truth that the plague was created and released by his superiors. In point of fact the entire film is about escaping fear, everyone escaping fear! Even all the masked people are symbolically escaping their fear as they remove their masks which were concealing their true identities. It is all about fear and overcoming it.
    Why? Because fear is all evil people have to offer the world and overcoming fear is the only way to beat them. Chancellor Suttler is all about dispensing fear throughout the film and in fact he even keeps his own people in constant fear.
    Imagine a fearless population for a moment, how would a tyrannical regime control them? What could such a regime do if no one was afraid of them? If no one was afraid of jail or reprisals or even death they would refuse to serve as soldiers in the regimes army, they would refuse to pay taxes to support the regimes existence, they would simply refuse to cooperate with them in any way as Gandhi did! The regime would quickly die and the people would be free, truly free, and all they have to do is lose their fear. That to me is the message of V for Vendetta. The violence V uses is really secondary to the overcoming of fear and in truth the violence takes away from the message of overcoming fear and in my view is the real shortcoming of the film.
    My father once told me that the opposite of love is not hate, it’s fear. Ask yourself whenever you have a decision to make in your life. Am I making this decision based on fear or on love? One will always be right and one will always be wrong. I have asked myself this question many times and I still do make some decisions because of fear. The more I change those decisions to be based on love the more I overcome evil. All we have to do to have a beautiful world is overcome our own fear and simply refuse to cooperate with evil.

    1. Craig, I just re-read the piece and noticed at the end of it you said:
      “The film did get one thing very right—that it is fear that controls us. And it is seeing through that fear and overcoming it with truth that is our only hope.”
      So I take back my point about you perhaps missing the point of V for Vendetta. I humbly apologize.

      1. Not to worry. You make a very good point about fear being a major theme of the film. I think a film like this can be “about” more than one thing. Several of the characters do overcome fear and become freer as a result. I do have to wonder about Gordon, the gay TV show host, who would have benefited from having a bit more fear. Behaving as if he were free cost him his life.

  4. ruffadam, your disquisition on fear is very much appreciated in this corner. Arguably fear is the single most important motivator of humans in general. This is why creating and/or manipulating fear is arguably the single most potent tool of power elites–and the glowing radioactive core of the major false flag operations (think the Reichstag fire, Pearl Harbor, Gulf of Tonkin, 9/11).
    Recommended is “Fear: A Cultural History” by Joanna Bourke, also author of “An Intimate History of Killing.” From the dust jacket: “With a dark cacophony of associated words–fright, dread, horror, panic, alarm, anxiety, terror–fear is universally understood as one of the most basic and powerful human emotions, obtaining a nearly palpable and overwhelming substance in today’s world.” (Later there’s a reference to “the cold fear of twenty-first century terrorism.”)
    Just a side note to your recollection that “My father once told me that the opposite of love is not hate, it’s fear.” I mean no disrespect to you or your father to offer another perspective, also one that I encountered many years ago.
    It is “The opposite of love is not hate. It is apathy.” Both hatred and fear are live emotions, however problematical. But to be apathetic to, say, one’s spouse,or to suffering in the world, means that love and concern for others is truly dead. To be apathetic is to indulge in one of the characteristics of psychopathy: lack of empathy or compassion. I’d say it would be a tossup, if I encountered a stranger with a gun who appeared ready to shoot me, whether I hoped he hated me for some reason, or was dead inside. Either way I’d be shitless with fear.

    1. “Turn inwards and you may never be quite so afraid again.”
      From a review of ‘Fear: A Cultural History’ by Joanna Bourke
      I got this same message from ‘Denial of Death’ by Earnest Becker. I have been much less inclined to falling to the pressures of the current Strategy of Tension being imposed on the society.
      See: ‘Art & Artist’ by Otto Rank. as well

    2. Well Barrie there is a lot to think about in your reply but let me start off by throwing a monkey wrench into the works. I do not believe there is such a thing as apathy. I think apathy is a facade masking deep seeded fears. It is a charade acted out by people who cannot deal with their own emotions related to things and people they care about. Like a boxer who gets hit with a stiff punch will often shake his head to deny that it really did hurt him. Apathy is from my perspective just another tool people use to avoid discomfort or pain which they are afraid of facing or feeling. Think of apathy as a kind of cognitive dissonance, or a way to stay out of issues and relationships that could get emotionally messy. The person simply avoids getting emotionally involved and puts up a false front of apparent apathy.
      To put it into terms fitting V for Vendetta: Apathy is nothing more than a Vaudevillians mask covering up fear.

  5. “Turn inwards and you may never be quite so afraid again.” A deep thought. Accepting that “turn inwards” means introspection that is fearless (to begin with, so we have a bit of a tautology here) and ongoing, the key words are the modifiers “quite so.” These words imply that it’s impossible for normal persons (as distinguished from psychopaths, who can be as fear-free as they are empathy-free) to free ourselves from fears altogether.
    Which is as it should be, because there are organizations, people, movements, events and even ideas that should cause us fear. Insofar as they do not, it means we are less aware than we should be. The modifying words imply, for me, that to face and explore our fears—and finally understand them—is to defang the ones that are less legitimate.
    It’s back to “know thyself” and the inescapable, to me, reality that knowing one’s self is an ongoing process without possibility of completion. Nothing ultimately to be afraid of. Whether enhanced self-knowledge buys peace of mind, and deciding what peace of mind means, however, I for one am still working on.
    I’m much indebted to Willy for the reference to Rank. Unaccountably I’d never heard of him. Judging only by Rank’s Wikipedia entry—but it’s fuller than many—he was arguably as important as Freud, or more important if one considers his break with one or two of Freud’s fundamental assumptions (especially Freud’s refusal to recognize the significance of “here-and-now” emotionalism in human interactions). I’m particularly taken with: “Rank was the first to propose that human development is a lifelong construction, which requires continual negotiation and renegotiation of the dual yearnings for individuation and connection, the will to separate and the will to unite.”
    It seems to me this thread-within-a-thread is relevant to the central mandate of Truth & Shadows. (Too often threads seem not to be.) Personal relationships and self-understandings are of great importance within the 9/11Truth movement or any truth movement. They relate to what the Chinese call “splittism.” When are splits understandable? Unavoidable? Regrettable? Avoidable? Even in the psychoanalytic community there was splittism.
    Back to V for Vendetta and fear, this from Wikipedia about Rank surely is germane: “But terrified at the prospect of losing Freud’s approval, Ferenczi aborted his enthusiasm for The Trauma of Birth and began to distance himself personally from Rank – whom he shunned during a chance meeting in 1926 at Penn Station in New York. ‘He was my best friend and he refused to speak to me,’ Rank said (Taft, 1958, p. xvi).”
    Those of us who have been in the 9/11Truth movement for a long time can see the relevance of organic splits and more importantly, how legitimately to avoid them or live with them. Finally for now, this subject area to me this generates some anger in the contemplation of the activities of Ken Jenkins et al, as Craig McKee has written about recently. And some sadness. Some sadness because it’s evident that even those of us striving to be always authentic and searching can encounter some alienation and serious challenges without the need for any injections of inauthentic splits.

  6. Thanks to Craig and Barrie for the thoughtful comments on V for Vendetta. It remains one of my favorite escapist movies. I have seen it many times and the idea of a nefarious police state accidentally creating a superman who brings down the temple and skewers the bad guys is minimally entertaining, if not satisfying, to those of us who see the leviathan deep state sail on without even a shrug for the protesters or victims it leaves writhing in its wake.
    I am almost finished with a good exploration of the Kennedy assassination in the context of the end of WWII and the rise of the cold war. The role of Allen Dulles in shaping the post-war world and arguably one of the primary components of the deep state, the CIA, is explored at length. It’s “The Devil’s Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of America’s Secret Government” by David Talbot, who founded Salon.com. Greetings to you all. I will try to drop in a little more often.

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