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Recently, I saw the film V for Vendetta.
Set in a futuristic, alternate reality fascist Britain, V for Vendetta is a satirical drama that documents the efforts of V, a vaudevillian parody of the scarlet pimpernel, who uses wit, symbolism, drama - and explosives - to resurrect - and invert - the legend of Guy Fawkes to topple the fascist government of the day.
As thoroughly enjoyable a film as it is, one part of the movie moved me – and resonated particularly strongly: Valerie’s letter.
The narration of the life, and subsequent persecution, of a woman – who happened to be gay – Valerie’s letter was found in the crack of a wall, written on toilet paper - in the cells of a government detention centre, during the incarceration of Evey – one of the stories protagonists. Having just been detained for having been associated with a friend who publicly mocked the leader of the fascist government – the Chancellor – Evey has been tortured and faces imminent death when she find the letter.
I don’t like using the word “gay” – or lesbian, or homosexual – or anything like that really. They are labels which obfuscate the common humanity we all share, and insinuate that whatever a person does with their heart – or any other part of their body – should count more for their quality more than their inherent value as human beings.
In searching for a transcript of Valerie’s Letter, I could not find a transcript of the one spoken in the movie exactly. Most were derived from the previous incarnation of Valerie’s Letter in the V for Vendetta graphic novel series, before it was made into a movie. These other versions – I believe – were not as dramatic or powerful as the version spoken in the movie. To that end, I have composed a transcript from the movie of Valerie’s Letter – exactly how she reads it in the film.
I present here, then Valerie’s Letter: the complete transcript as shown in the move V for Vendetta, word for word.
"I know there’s no way I can convince you this is not one of their tricks. But I don’t care. I am me.
My name is Valerie. I don’t think i’ll live much longer, and I wanted to tell someone about my life. This is the only autobiography that i’ll ever write, and – God – i’m writing it on toilet paper.
I was born in Nottingham in 1985. I don’t remember much of those early years. But I do remember the rain. My grandmother owned a farm in Tottlebrook, and she used to tell me that God was in the rain.
I passed my eleven plus, and went to a girl’s grammar. It was at school that I met my first girlfriend. Her name was Sarah. It was her wrists – they were beautiful. I thought we would love each other forever. I remember our teacher telling us that it was an adolescent phase that people outgrew.
In 2002 I fell in love with a girl named Christina. That year I came out to my parents. I couldn’t have done it without Chris holding my hand.
My father wouldn’t look at me. He told me to go and never come back. My mother said nothing.
I’d only told them the truth. Was that so selfish? Our integrity sells for so little, but it is all we really have.
It is the very last inch of us.
And within that inch, we are free.
I’d always known what i’d wanted to do with my life, and in 2015 I started my first film: The Salt Flats.
It was the most important role of my life. Not because of my career, but because that was how I met Ruth. The first time we kissed, I knew I never wanted to kiss any other lips but hers again.
We moved to a small flat in London together. She grew scarlet carsons for me in our window box. And our place always smelt of roses.
Those were the best years of my life.
But America’s war grew worse and worse, and eventually came to London.
After that there were no roses anymore. Not for anyone.
I remember how the meaning of words began to change. How unfamiliar words like “collateral” and “rendition” became frightening. When things like norsefire and the articles of allegiance became powerful. I remember how different became dangerous.
I still don’t understand it: why they hate us so much.
They took Ruth while she was out buying food. I’ve never cried so hard in my life. It wasn’t long until they came for me.
It seems strange that my life should end in such a terrible place.
But for three years I had roses – and apologised to no-one.
I shall die here. Every inch of me shall perish. Every inch.
It is small and it is fragile, and it is the only thing in the world worth having. We must never lose it or give it away. We must never let them take it from us.
I hope that - whoever you are - you escape this place. I hope that the world turns, and that things get better.
But what I hope most of all is that you understand what I mean when I tell you that even though I do not know you, and even though I may not meet you, laugh with you, cry with you, or kiss you: I love you.
With all my heart.
I love you.
If you were not moved by this, and remain unconvinced of the humanity we all share – irrespective of our sexual orientation – I would ask you to join an army – any army – and seek the pain for yourself which you would so casually inflict on others.
Then, and only then, can you speak meaningfully of choice, love or morality.
"It gets better..." (This is beautiful).
Sagery Binx on March 31, 2020:
thank you for this
Bernard Whelan on April 25, 2019:
Thanks for posting the transcript. It cuts right to the heart of the matter, doesn't it?
Fan on July 28, 2017:
Thanks for the transcript. I agree with your comments before and after.
Edge on May 25, 2014:
I'm brought to tears more by the written word than the scene I just viewed on BBC America.
carozy from San Francisco on March 07, 2013:
I remember how powerful that film was and how I cried at this part. Thank you for sharing this.
ar on February 10, 2013:
words as iron...
bornblond8dg on August 07, 2011:
This was so beautifully written, it does bring tears to the eyes, such an awesome hub!
PunkMaister on December 01, 2010:
I would have preferred to see the backgrounds of the Pixar Animators than just a bunch of people asserting their sexual orientation in that last video. The Video and transcript of the Valerie letter is and will remain forever other than the real life diary of Anna Frank a constant reminder of the horrors unchecked governmental power can inflict
Flippy Doodle on August 19, 2010:
Oh god, this single scene in this movie moved me so much. It's hard to describe it... it is very rare for me to be so moved by a single scene in a movie.
Every single time I watch it, I end up with tears in my eyes. The first time i watched this movie, and after this scene I was just downright hysterical with emotion.
I absolutely fell in love with this movie for this scene alone.
Thank you for the transcript, and I agree with you, the movie one is more moving than the one in the original graphic novel.
This is the part I love the most:
"Our integrity sells for so little, but it is all we really have.
It is the very last inch of us.
And within that inch, we are free. "
It is that last essential thing we have within ourselves which keeps us sane, keeps us free. Yet for others, they think it is so easy to stamp all over our integrity.
And I also was very moved by what you wrote:
"They are labels which obfuscate the common humanity we all share, and insinuate that whatever a person does with their heart – or any other part of their body – should count more for their quality more than their inherent value as human beings. "
Thank you for putting this up, very nice.
Cecilia from New York on July 18, 2010:
There are two layers of humanity, the mechanized machine that reproduces to pass on genes. Then there's the other layer, one that feels desire in order to know. Both are connected, yet sometimes they don't agree.
To pass genes is to share unconscious knowledge. To fall in love is to desire to know someone so deeply because that person is a mirror.
Almost too often, homosexual or lesbian love epitomizes this aspect of knowing. The desperate seeking of a mirror of our own soul is a mysterious aspect of our psyche and valid need.
There was a famous gay man who married a woman in my country and while he invited negative reactions, in the end he said. "I am still gay, but I did not fall in love with a gender. I fell in love with the person." Great hub, it points out a great aspect of love and humanity.
myownworld from uk on July 18, 2010:
To speak in defense of the oppressed, yes, it's when you realize the power of the written word! Bless you for doing that... :)
I cried too reading this hub ilm... moved by your compassion and your kindness (watched the video too) But also, because this movie has held a special meaning for me, ESP. owing to certain lines in that letter. Just click on my profile page once, and you'll know what I mean....
Roberta S from California on the rocks on July 18, 2010:
If there were a word that would convey love in a more powerful way,then I would use it to let you know how much I fell deeply into those 6 minutes of movie you attached to this hub. I loved every second of it. And it is so ironic that, after a few minutes of me responding to your comment and mentioning --INTEGRITY-- as one of the main values I am looking for in my lifelong companion, I stumble upon these words you wrote a few hours ago. Lovely, passionate, breathtaking, and disarming.