March 30, 2020
I’ve heard the phrase “we’re all in it together” about a million times this week in response to the continued havoc wreaked by the Coronavirus. That phrase is the same phrase used in the 1985 dystopian science-fiction film Brazil staring Jonathan Pryce and directed by Terry Gilliam. The phrase is used in commercials and on billboards by the bureaucratic totalitarian government of the future.
Just like in the movie, the irony is that we’re all isolated like never before. We couldn’t be further apart right now. These are strange times, indeed.
“Now they got the whole country sectioned off. You can’t make a move without a form.”Robert De Niro’s character Harry Tuttle from the film Brazil
Robert De Niro’s character Harry Tuttle utters the “We’re all in it together” phrase as a tongue-in-cheek way to joke about Central Services, the paper-heavy totalitarian government entity.
If you (re)watch Brazil, you’ll be surprised at just how much about the future Gilliam got right in 1985. All the workers are glued to screens, everything requires forms and unknown protocols, and the slightest mistake can destroy lives. The United States + Coronavirus = the movie Brazil. The future is here.