Monday, August 8, 2016

Charlie Chaplin's Great Dictator speech, and the story around it

Have you heard/read Charlie Chaplin's speech from 'The Great Dictator'? It's been billed as "The Greatest, Most Relevant Speech Ever" and similar.

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7GY1Xg6X20&yt:cc=on

Text: http://www.charliechaplin.com/en/synopsis/articles/29-The-Great-Dictator-s-Speech

I found some interesting information around this here:
http://www.zerohedge.com/contributed/2013-10-24/greatest-most-relevant-speech-ever
... He chose to make The Great Dictator – a "satirical attack on fascism" and his "most overtly political film".
... Making a comedy about Hitler was seen as highly controversial, but Chaplin's financial independence allowed him to take the risk. "I was determined to go ahead," he later wrote, "for Hitler must be laughed at."

What's also interesting to read is that at the time, this amazing speech was taken rather negatively by many, and he suffered many consequences for it including later deportation from USA. He was hated for, as a comedian and an actor, having dared to so boldly express his political views and taken a stand on things. He didn't just act in this movie.. he spent two years writing the script himself.

This strikes a bell with what I see today happening when certain popular actors of our time have dared to put in considerable efforts and take a serious stand on things, like Amir Khan's call in 2014 to not vote for parties fielding criminal candidates, after a very detailed explanation for it in his SMJ episode. (See, I've already pissed some of you off by just mentioning his name! I'm sure even Chaplin must have been accused similarly back then. Come on, I dare you to watch that episode full : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zwRK4oL4O60 ).

Excerpts from Chaplin's speech:
"I'm sorry, but I don't want to be an emperor. That's not my business. I don't want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone - if possible"

"More than machinery we need humanity. More than cleverness we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost...."

"Don't give yourselves to these unnatural men - machine men with machine minds and machine hearts! You are not machines! You are not cattle! You are men! You have the love of humanity in your hearts! You don't hate! Only the unloved hate - the unloved and the unnatural! Soldiers! Don't fight for slavery! Fight for liberty!"

"By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power, but they lie. They do not fulfill their promise, they never will. Dictators free themselves but they enslave the people!"

Surprising how something spoken more than half a century ago is still so embarassingly relevant today!

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