Chaplin’s World celebrates the 80th anniversary of “The Great Dictator”
with a global campaign and a landmark exhibition
Corsier-sur-Vevey, 15 March 2021 – To mark the 80th anniversary of “The Great Dictator,” one of Charlie Chaplin’s most iconic and daring films, Chaplin’s World will be hosting a temporary exhibition from 12 March to 29 August 2021, featuring hitherto unpublished photos, details of deleted scenes and behind-the-scenes activity that elucidate the links between fiction and History. At a time of challenge to individual liberties, the #LETUSALLUNITE digital human fresco will bring citizens of the world together around the universal values expressed in the film’s final speech.
In the 1930s, Chaplin was one of the few film-makers who questioned the legitimacy of Adolf Hitler and his party, and the threat they posed to the world. Working on a satire of Nazism and the persecution of Jews on the eve of World War II was very brave indeed: Chaplin received death threats, faced financial and political pressure, and financed the film alone, against all odds – simply because he felt compelled, as always, to defend the oppressed.
Four years after Modern Times, cinema audiences were looking forward to The Great Dictator. When the premiere was held in New York, on 15 October 1940, the United States had not yet entered the war. In many of the other countries at war, the film was not released until after the end of the conflict.
Contemporary press reports often noted the similarities between Chaplin and Hitler – not only because of their mustaches, but also because they were born the same week in April 1889! Hitler loved movies and reportedly saw “The Great Dictator” twice. (There are no accounts of his reaction.)
Citizens of the world recreate
the final speech from “The Great Dictator”
“The Great Dictator” and the values expressed in the film’s final speech still resonate and inspire us today, across borders and generations; world-famous bands such as U2 and Coldplay have been moved to pass on its universal message by playing it before their concerts. In the current socio-economic and geopolitical climate, the speech is as relevant as ever.
A touch screen kiosk in the exhibition will allow visitors to morph into the Tramp. These images will be used to form letters of the alphabet; in turn, these will be arranged to recreate the film’s final speech.
Citizens of the world will be able to take part in this experiment by logging on to www.letusallunite.world.
During the Summer 2021, the work will be unveiled on Instagram and printed on a huge banner, to be displayed on the outer wall of Chaplin’s World.
To take part in this campaign is to adhere to, and share, the humanist values expressed by Chaplin.
Chaplin’s World and its partners, the Chaplin Office in Paris, the Charlie Chaplin Museum Foundation, the Non-Violence Project Foundation and Amnesty International (Swiss chapter), share, support and wish to draw attention to the film’s values with a unifying creative campaign.
Behind the scenes of “The Great Dictator”
Co-produced by Rencontres d’Arles, Roy Export S.A.S. (which holds the rights to Charlie Chaplin’s intellectual property and heritage), Institut pour la photographie de Lille and The Charlie Chaplin Museum Foundation, Chaplin and ‘The Great Dictator’ – Story of a Little Fish in a Shark-Infested Oceanfeatures unpublished on-set photos by Chaplin’s Assistant Director, Dan James, and sheds light on the context in which Chaplin’s first “talkie” was made, produced and distributed.
The exhibition (with plates and captions available in English, French, and German) opens with a synopsis of the film in vintage photographic prints – a barber wounded during the WWI returns home after twenty years within hospital walls. His shop is full of cobwebs and dust, but it is the hateful graffiti on the shop window that takes him totally by surprise. Hynkel, the tyrannical dictator, and his henchmen persecute the barber, and the rest of the Jewish community, including the beautiful Hannah…
The section on Chaplin at work features behind-the-scenes footage, scenes of Chaplin directing his actors, deleted scenes, and stories behind the special effects used in the film. These insights into his filmmaking process also show how his studios operated, and reflect the wealth of historical research conducted by his team. Hynkel’s jacket, which turned up in a private Swiss collection in early February of this year, will be displayed in the exhibition.
LET US ALL UNITE !
THE #LETUSALLUNITE DIGITAL CAMPAIGN
A touch screen kiosk in the exhibition will invite visitors to conjure virtual images of themselves as the Tramp.
These images will be used to form letters of the alphabet; in turn, these will be arranged by artist NOTsoNOISY Guillaume Reymond to recreate the final speech of “The Great Dictator”. During the Summer 2021, this work will be unveiled on Instagram and printed
on a huge banner, to be displayed on the outer wall of Chaplin’s World.
For more information on that digital performance, please visit www.letusallunite.world
FROM 12 MARCH TO 29 AUGUST 2021 – LANDMARK EXHIBITION:
CHAPLIN AND “THE GREAT DICTATOR”
A new temporary exhibition takes visitors behind the scenes, with never-before-seen artifacts, detailing the history of the film’s creation, the secrets behind its production, unfinished scenes and unpublished on-set photos.
2–18 APRIL 2021 – Egg hunts and chaplin’s world fifth anniversary celebrations
Egg hunts will be held on the museum’s grounds during the Easter vacation, with plenty of surprises to be won!
We will also be hosting special events for visitors of all ages on the anniversary of our museum (and Charlie Chaplin’s birthday) on Friday 16 April.
SUMMER 2021 – #LETUSALLUNITE !
The final speech of the film, written in letters formed by anonymous Tramps from around the world,
will be displayed on a huge banner.
For more information on this digital performance, please visit www.letusallunite.world
For more information, please visit chaplinsworld.com