The visceral politics of V for Vendetta: On political affect in cinema

Brian L. Ott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


This essay concerns the role of political affect in cinema. As a case study, I analyze the 2006 film V for Vendetta as cinematic rhetoric. Adopting a multi modal approach that focuses on the interplay of discourse, figure, and ground, I contend that the film mobilizes viewers at a visceral level to reject a politics of apathy in favor of a politics of democratic struggle. Based on the analysis, I draw conclusions related to the evaluation of cinematic rhetoric, the political import of mass art, and the character and role of affect in politics. This manuscript is included in a special issue titled, Space, Matter, Mediation, and the Prospects of Democracy, Vol. 27, No. 1, 2010.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-54
Number of pages16
JournalCritical Studies in Media Communication
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2010


  • Cinematic rhetoric
  • Embodied experience
  • Political affect
  • V for vendetta
  • Visceral


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