In a dystopian society where the government constantly gathers detailed data on each of its citizens, Sam Lowry is a low-ranking bureaucrat who is content with his menial job. When a small mistake in a data center leads to a wrongful arrest, a series of events is set in motion which lead Lowry into the depths of the Ministry of Information and beyond, into his dreams.
To create an atmosphere of timelessness, the movie uses dated technology as a replacement for modern technology. As such, it gives a chilling view of the way people's lives are controlled by a vast bureaucracy that channels streams of data on all individual citizens into automatic actions to regulate society -- a society in which a single-letter mistake can snowball into dramatic changes in people's lives for which no one feels responsible.
The film is generally considered by film critics to be one of the best British films of all time. Even if one has seen it before, the fantastic visuals and numerous details in every frame make it worth seeing multiple times.
Prof.dr.ir. Pieter Spronck will introduce the movie. He will explain some of the hidden symbolism in the movie, and will discuss the parallels between the movie and today's society where the dangers of use and misuse of data are concerned. He will also provide some background on the making of the movie, and in particular on how director Terry Gilliam's fight with the studios to get the movie in theaters with his vision intact was ironically similar to the plight of the movie's protagonist.