Arts & Entertainment

Museum curator: Chaplin would have ridiculed Putin through humor

Corsier sur Vevey, Switzerland, Mar 19 (EFE).- The Charles Chaplin museum, in the Swiss country house where the artist spent the last 25 years of his life in exile, is marking the centenary of The Kid, his first feature film which gave a voice to social underdogs and shocked audiences worldwide.

The exhibition at the Chaplin’s World museum recreates the set where the autobiographical movie, which blends drama and comedy exquisitely, was filmed in 1921.

“The reaction of the people (from the extreme right), they said that this movie is horrible because you have a mother who is single, she doesn’t care about her child, you have a father who teaches his son to break windows just to eat,” the promoter and museum designer, Yves Durand, told Efe.

Chaplin always told the stories of the most disadvantaged in society and, at a time when communism terrified the upper echelons of the United States, the comedian dared to denounce capitalism and the exploitation of workers.

The United States government persecuted Chaplin throughout his career although, according to Durand, Chaplin never defined himself as a communist but a “humanist.”

The Kid was the launch of a career dedicated to denouncing social injustice as was later evidenced in Modern Times (1936) and The Great Dictator (1940), a movie in which he dared to poke fun at Hitler and Mussolini.

“If Chaplin were alive today he would do with Vladimir Putin something similar to what he did in The Great Dictator. Through humor, he would find a way to represent him in a ridiculous way,” Durand added.

To fully understand Chaplin’s work viewers must understand his background.

“Charlie Chaplin was coming from a poor district, he was a poor kid having to beg in the street to feed himself,” the curator said. “Charlie Chaplin as a filmmaker and as a scriptwriter always looked at the world with the eyes of the child he was.” EFE


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