Saturday, November 12, 2011

Chaplin on Veteran's Day

Veteran's Day has never been a holiday that really captured my attention, given that none of the veterans of my acquaintance have ever paid it remarkable heed. Perhaps it is a holiday of more interest to families of veterans, as Milt Wolff, who fought in the Spanish Civil War and then in World War II, used to remark upon the fact that his daughter always called him then.

I thought of Milt and of my father this Veteran's Day, they being the veterans I knew best. There was a film festival here for the holiday, and while I had a lot of work to do, I rode my bike over to the Neon to see Charlie Chaplin in The Great Dictator. I've seen quite a few Chaplin films over the years, but I don't think I had seen this one in its entirety before, although of late the final speech has been circulating the internet with considerable vigor. Chaplin's plea for humanity to reject hatred, delivered in the role of a Jewish barber disguised as Hitler-figure Adenoid Hynkel, remains as current today as in 1940. Milt and my father would have appreciated The Great Dictator being shown on Veteran's Day.

No comments:

Post a Comment