Kelvinwright's Blog

postmodern thoughts

Look Up, Hannah

I finally got around to seeing “The Great Dictator” this weekend. I was sorry to have waited so long, but happy to have finally seen Chaplin’s masterpiece. There are famous scenes that most of us have probably seen in clips: the scene in which Chaplin shaves a customer to Brahms’; the globe dancing parody, or the end “Hannah Look-up” speech. It is this last speech that always causes the strongest emotion. Chaplin, mistaken for a Dictator, makes a plea to seek world peace.
“We all want to live by each other’s happiness, not by each other’s misery. We don’t want to hate and despise one another.”
“We have developed speed but we have shut ourselves in: machinery that gives abundance has left us in want.”
“More than machinery we need humanity.”
“Soldiers – don’t give yourselves to brutes, men who despise you and enslave you – who regiment your lives, tell you what to do, what to think and what to feel, who drill you, diet you, treat you as cattle, as cannon fodder… Soldiers – don’t fight for slavery, fight for liberty.”

It is a speech fit for a world leader accepting the Nobel Peace Prize. But it was made by an actor and director. Perhaps if each leader had to give this speech when he/she came to power, then the postmodern world would be remembered as giving a great gift to humanity.

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April 24, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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