Zelensky at Cannes Festival: The hate of men will pass, and dictators die, liberty will never perish
President Volodymyr Zelensky spoke online at the opening of the next Cannes Film Festival, quoting from the film The Great Dictator by Charlie Chaplin
"The worst dictators of the twentieth century loved cinema; we know that about them. But the most important thing left after them is scary documentary newsreels. As well as films that challenged these dictators.
The first festival was to begin in Cannes on September 1, 1939, but World War II broke out. 6 years of cinema were on the fronts of this war along with all humanity. For 6 years, cinema has fought for freedom, and is also, unfortunately, in favor of the dictatorship.
Now, back to that cinema, we can see how freedom is moving towards victory. And in the end, it did not allow dictators to capture people's hearts.
There were many important points along the way, but the most notable was in 1940. When, in contrast to the antagonist, the world saw, at first glance, an inconspicuous guy who did not look like a hero, but turned out to be so. In The Great Dictator, Charlie Chaplin did not destroy the real dictator.
But thanks to him, cinema ceased to be silent, silent in every sense of the word. Cinema spoke, and it was the voice of the future victory of freedom.
Already in 1940, when the screen said, "The hate of men will pass, and dictators die, and the power they took from the people will return to the people. And so long as men die, liberty will never perish…"
We need a new Chaplin, who will prove even now that cinema is no longer silent," said the president.
Zelensky called on cinematographers not to ignore the plight of the Ukrainian people and react to it in their work.
The head of state also quoted a number of well-known quotes from other classic films to highlight the scale of the horrors of the war in Ukraine for leading representatives of cinema.
In addition, Zelensky explained that ordinary Ukrainians experience the same things as Guido from Roberto Benigni's Life is Beautiful. According to the plot, in fascist Italy, a Jew named Guido, who was thrown into a concentration camp with his son, is constantly inventing a game for his son so that he would not guess that they are in danger of death.
The Great Dictator became Charlie Chaplin's first sound film. According to the plot, Chaplin also plays a simple hairdresser, who is visually very similar to the anti-Semitic dictator Adenoid Hinkel, who ruled in his country.
At one point, the young man managed to find himself behind the dictator's rostrum by mistake, and he unexpectedly delivered a speech for freedom, equality, and democracy, condemning the cynicism, cruelty, and absurdity of the dictator's regime.
The film was shown in US cinemas in 1940 when World War II between Nazi Germany and the Allies lasted for the second year in Europe, but the Soviet Union was still at peace with the Hitler regime at the time.
On Monday, May 16, Zelensky addressed students at 63 US universities and 2 Canadian universities.
The president's online speech is also planned at the Davos Economic Forum.