Today I’d like to share a short clip from the film, “The Great Dictator,” written and directed by — and starring – Charlie Chaplin, from 1940. This clip comes from near the end of the film. The premise of the film is that there is a Jewish barber who looks very much like the anti-Semite dictator Adenoid Hynkel (all references to Adolf Hitler not coincidental). In a moment of confusion, the dictator is imprisoned by his own troops, given his resemblance to the barber, and the barber is received as the dictator. It is for this reason that this humble Jewish working man is allowed to give a speech as if he were Hynkel. The video shows what he says.
The currency of what Chaplin’s character says is uncanny, and his strength is impressive. This is an example of the way art can critique reality through humor. Consider the date in which the film was made and the political thought it reflects in that moment. Enjoy the speech of “The Great Dictator”:
Ingrid Luciano, Justicia Global