Description:The programme re-evaluates Chaplin’s film from the distance of half a century and more, when the cycle of dictatorship and Nazism seemed to have reached its end.
In this film, Chaplin stands out not just for his mastery of mime and gesture, but also for the influence of a foreign rhetoric as it results from his double role as a Jewish barber and the Hitlerian dictator: “an amnesiac Jewish barber is hospitalized for 20 years after being injured trying to save a pilot in World War I. When the barber recovers, he finds the ghetto where he used to live full of soldiers and a dictator called Hynkel in power.He protests this situation, is arrested and imprisoned in a concentration camp. When he escapes, he is mistaken for the dictator himself and so is forced to impersonate him.”
The programme detects certain problems related to the film’s “oversensitiveness” and its episodic nature. It underlines, however, Chaplin’s “corrosive satire” and praises the initial scenes of the film with the dispirited soldiers in the trenches of World War I, and the unique scene with the pilot, and dictator Hynkel’s dance with the balloon representing the world – a scene which, along with other scenes from the film, guaranteed its place in the history of cinema.