Why The 1985 Film “Brazil” Should Remind You Of Today
Surreal director Terry Gilliam’s magnum opus is the 1985 cult classic film “Brazil,” which had the usual Gilliamesque disastrous release. If you’re lost as to what we’re talking about with this movie, you have to see the un-butchered version. Here’s a documentary that captures some of it…
Most accurately described as “Nineteen-Eighty-Four and a half,” Brazil is set in a dystopian future where, like George Orwell’s dystopia, the government runs everything and is all-pervasive. But, unlike Orwell, the government is dangerous not because it’s an efficient Fascism, but because it’s a blundering, bumbling bureaucratic nightmare that is impossible to fight because it’s so chaotic.
There’s a constant subplot involving the government’s fight against terrorists, and yet a dark revelation at the heart of the story, barely glimpsed, which is that what the government deems “terrorists” are actually just different factions of the same government at war with each other unwittingly. This video zeros the whole story down to this point, with Terry Gilliam himself commenting that yes, he was inspired by real life;
There is truth today to “Brazil” that is so relevant, it’s terrifying. Remember how we were gung-ho about toppling Saddam Hussein? Guess who put him in power? Remember how we had to go after Osama bin Laden? Guess who put him in power? Trump’s recent visit to Saudi Arabia made a big show of fighting terrorism together, but the 2001 WTC attack was a Saudi Arabia job.
Remember when we fought the Cold War to its bitter end and everybody cheered at the downfall of the Soviet Union? Well, we all know how Russia turned out now, don’t we?
This has nothing to do with what alt-right conspiracy wonks call “false-flag operations.” That implies that this is deliberate. It isn’t! It is instead a long series of clumsy accidents. Every time the United States smashes some tinpot dictator, we leave a power vacuum which accidentally promotes a new one. We manufacture our own monsters. US IntelSec even has a word for it: “blowback.” And it’s hard to even avoid doing that – international politics is such a maze of shifting influences that it’s impossible to predict what the consequences of your actions will be. Want to solve Syria right now? Go ahead, we’ll put you in charge, but you have to make sure that whatever you do to fix it doesn’t lead to a bigger problem a couple decades from now.