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The Real Room 101 (2003)

A look at the enduring concept of Room 101, the psychological torture chamber created by 'George Orwell' for his novel "Nineteen Eighty-Four".






Complete credited cast:
Michael Rosen ... Himself - Narrator (voice)
D.J. Taylor ... Himself (as David Taylor)
... Himself
Rachel Whiteread ... Herself
David Joyce ... Himself
Tony Benn ... Himself
Richard Norton-Taylor ... Himself
... Himself
Terry Waite ... Himself
... Herself
Masha Karp ... Herself
Brian Luard ... Himself
Lissa Evans ... Herself


A look at the enduring concept of Room 101, the psychological torture chamber created by 'George Orwell' for his novel "Nineteen Eighty-Four". The documentary includes exploration of the room itself, Orwell's creative influences, the use of psychology of fear, and its impact on popular culture. Written by thomaswake16

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Official Sites:

BBC Four [UK]



Release Date:

14 June 2003 (UK)  »

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30 minutes of loitering around room 101
13 January 2009 | by See all my reviews

The Real Room 101 is a shallow look at one of the concepts from George Orwell's 1984. If you've discovered its existence by browsing, don't bother to go look for it. It doesn't dig very deep and doesn't tell us anything really interesting. The setting of the book was largely based on London just after the war. So, mixed with a few interviews we get to see a room 101 in a building where George Orwell worked for the BBC during the war. An artist is making a cast of the inside of the room, regardless whether it is the true inspiration for room 101 or not - as she herself remarks, it has windows, so it can't be. Or was it perhaps his fascist public school, and does the interrogator echo his disturbed relationship with his father? We're not told. The interrogator's name of O'Brian 'clearly' being a reference to catholics and guilt was new for me, but then it goes of to the obligatory "yes, look how many of it has come true" bit. Instead of acknowledging how many of the book's predictions have come true, some real info would have been nice. For example, apparently, in the days of the Cold War, the head of the East German secret police arranged for himself to have room number 101. But that story isn't told. All in all, this documentary doesn't come from the Ministry of Truth, but instead was written, directed, and produced in-house by the Ministry of Wasting Time with Uninformative Shows.

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