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Orwell Rolls in His Grave

Orwell Rolls in His Grave (2003)



Average Rating: 6/10
Critic Reviews: 10
Fresh: 6 | Rotten: 4

No consensus yet.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.9/5
User Ratings: 1,154

My Rating

Movie Info

Directed by Robert Kane Pappas, Orwell Rolls in His Grave questions whether the bleak, feverishly regulated world of author George Orwell's 1984 is no longer a dire fictional account of government power gone wrong but a creeping reality of recent American media trends. The film focuses on the media's least covered topic -- itself -- in an effort to trace the process by which newsworthy stories are either dismissed entirely or distorted into something more politically suitable for the heads of


Documentary, Special Interest

Robert Kane Pappas

Jun 7, 2005

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All Critics (26) | Top Critics (11) | Fresh (19) | Rotten (5) | DVD (4)

For some, Pappas' film will simply confirm everything they've suspected of the fourth estate. For others, it will be a reiteration of points they make themselves. Those who've never thought about these issues may be in for the shock of their lives.

August 27, 2004 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Comes across as a political science course videotape rather than a movie to fully engage a general audience.

July 30, 2004 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
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Enlightening, at times disturbing, and always provocative.

July 29, 2004 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
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Even though he refuses to excise about 15 to 20 minutes of unnecessary material, Pappas is nonetheless a steady editor who, less intrepid than dogged, pieces together a sustainably intriguing, suitably distressing exposť.

July 28, 2004 Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly
L.A. Weekly
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The war against the neo-fascists still goes on, and the outcome at this point is far from certain. Mr. Pappas' film does its part.

July 23, 2004 Full Review Source: New York Observer
New York Observer
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Every incident mentioned in the film was reported in the media, sometimes ad nauseam, and the polls show that about half of Americans like where things are going.

July 23, 2004 Full Review Source: New York Daily News
New York Daily News
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[N]one of this is news. But seeing it laid out so bare... is infuriating.

January 12, 2005 Full Review Source: Flick Filosopher
Flick Filosopher

Orwell's predictions have come sadly true.

October 24, 2004 Full Review Source: Laramie Movie Scope
Laramie Movie Scope

Professors, pundits, journalists and one elected official, Representative Bernie Sanders (I-VT), rigorously examine the issue of maintaining a free press in an environment in which journalists are increasingly the employees of major corporations.

August 8, 2004 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

A vivid and distressing documentary examination of the state of the fourth estate... a deeply fascinating must-see for anyone interested in the news, politics and civic life.

August 3, 2004 Full Review Source: Entertainment Today
Entertainment Today sometimes goes off into areas that, while interesting, are pretty tangential. Still, it makes a good (and scary) case.

July 29, 2004

A bracing eye-opener to anyone who hasn't considered the full implications of recent Congressional debates advocating further media deregulation, debates that, unsurprisingly, have been strikingly underreported by mainstream news outlets.

July 23, 2004 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Get ready for a cultural wake-and-shake you won't forget for a long, long time.

July 22, 2004 Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor
Christian Science Monitor

The persuasion of Pappas' argument lies in the accumulation of original documentation, allowing the political perps to condemn themselves with their own words.

July 22, 2004 Full Review Source:

Be prepared to be shocked, infuriated, depressed, and terrified.

July 20, 2004 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

Presents the bad news about the media monopolies and the many ways they are busy shredding the most precious principles of democracy.

July 15, 2004 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

Folks, Orwell probably is rolling in his grave, not because 1984 has come to be, but because his name is attached to such a lousy movie.

July 15, 2004 Full Review Source:

Audience Reviews for Orwell Rolls in His Grave

This documentary written and directed by Robert Kane Pappas is a relevant one for the modern society because covers topics including the Telecommunications Act of 1996, concentration of media ownership, political corruption, Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the controversy over the US presidential election of 2000 (particularly in Florida with Bush v. Gore), and the October surprise conspiracy theory. On the other hand, I can see the similarities with all other systems of control in China, Russia, Middle East and even Europe. It seems that government quickly follow up each other when they have to take freedom of speech from their citizens, regardless the political views.

I cannot say that I didn't like the documentary: it was relevant, had trustworthy experts who know their subjects extremely well, it had facts, it had plenty of interviews... but somehow it was too dry and lecturing for my taste. I am a lecturer myself, and the most important thing is to involve the audience into the lecture! This documentary didn't do that for me - I was always aware that this is presented information to provide me with truth which should alter my views on democracy in the United States. No need for that in my case, because I was an owner of a radio station in the late 80's and I know a thing or two about the subject, and all I wanted is to enjoy the presentation. Well, that was hard if you are just lining up the presenters and facts.

I was thinking to show this to my students, but I will edit parts of it before doing that, because in this form is a little bit too hard to "chew" the complicated subject of taking a democracy from the "demos" to the 1% of the US population! George Orwel's "1984" seems like a paradise compared with today's laws in the "Western Freedom" countries, with US as a leader.

Recommended for the information and revelation, not artistic value!
August 7, 2013
Panta Oz

Super Reviewer

This is a doc. everyone should see. The content is excellent - you want to scream and wonder why no one knows this is going on, but it's obviously because the media doesn't want you to!
June 25, 2008

Super Reviewer

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