Movies with Meaning – Power of an Idea

Weekly series. Please send in your movies via email, twitter etc. Our format  :

  • Three movies with meaning (and movies you love and recommend!)
  • One sentence on the core meaning you take from it
  • Send a link to a YouTube clip from the movie that speaks to that meaning

WARNING : Spoilers often included, so if you haven’t seen the movies…


This week three movies about the power of an idea.

“Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come.” ~ Victor Hugo

(Note : the original from Hugo is “on ne résiste pas à l’invasion des idées”, which directly translates to “one does not resist the invasion of ideas”, but `i like the way it has evolved into the English version in common usage!)

V for Vendetta (2005)

“..fairness, justice, and freedom are more than words, they are perspectives. So if you’ve seen nothing, if the crimes of this government remain unknown to you then I would suggest that you allow the fifth of November to pass unmarked. But if you see what I see, if you feel as I feel, and if you would seek as I seek, then I ask you to stand beside me one year from tonight, outside the gates of Parliament, and together we shall give them a fifth of November that shall never, ever be forgot”

This scene is where V lays down a marker and implants an idea for a year from the date of his speech being broadcast across the emergency channel.

This movie, released 10 years ago, feels eerily prescient as to the rise of fear-based populism across the world in recent years. How did that happen ? more from earlier in the same speech :

“..where once you had the freedom to object, to think and speak as you saw fit, you now have censors and systems of surveillance coercing your conformity and soliciting your submission. How did this happen? Who’s to blame? Well certainly there are those more responsible than others, and they will be held accountable, but again truth be told, if you’re looking for the guilty, you need only look into a mirror.”

Food for thought for all of us. So what will we do about it, each of us, individually and collectively ?


Inception (2010)

In a post about the power of ideas, this movie had to be on the list !

“What is the most resilient parasite? Bacteria? A virus? An intestinal worm? An idea. Resilient… highly contagious. Once an idea has taken hold of the brain it’s almost impossible to eradicate. An idea that is fully formed – fully understood – that sticks; right in there somewhere.”


The Usual Suspects (1995)

“Who is Keyser Söze ?”

“The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was to convince the world he didn’t exist”