Secret Cinema has staged a protest against the threats made on screenings of The Interview with a one off Secret Screening event of Charlie Chaplin’s The Great Dictator in London, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Rome.
Held yesterday (21 December), and organised in less than 48 hours, the events raised at least £11,500 (US$18,000) of proceeds across five cities going to global free speech charity Article 19.
Secret Cinema chose The Great Dictator as one of Hollywood’s greatest films which demonstrates the need to create art without censorship.
Over 2000 audiences across 5 global cities dressed sombrely in dark suits and came together to show solidarity and to protest censorship through live Poetry, Music, Short Films and Live Jazz.
Its statement read: “Art must challenge and parody any political figure it so wishes. Secret Cinema feels passionately about enabling an environment in which filmmakers can make bold and challenging work without fear.”
Will Poole, events and compliance manager at Troxy, said: “Through our close working relationship with Secret Cinema Presents, we as a venue are able to offer them the flexibility to be able to respond quickly to newsworthy topics. This event follows the success of the immersive cinema screening of Dead Poet Society after the tragic passing of Robin Williams earlier in 2014 which raised £24,000 for Mind, the mental health charity.”
Charlie Chaplin’s famous portrayal of fictitious dictator Adenoid Hynkel, a thinly-veiled version of Hitler, made waves around the world when he premiered the 1940 comedy. The film was Chaplin’s highest grossing film at the box office and was nominated for five Academy Awards. Banned in Nazi Germany, The Great Dictator would not have been made or receive distribution today.
View the iconic speech from ‘The Great Dictator’ below:
To show support post #freedomtocreate
Teatro Centrale: http://teatrocentrale.it/
Special thanks to: Sabina Guzzanti and Benedetta Ruffini
Great Star Theatre
Troxy Cinema, East London
[The Red Chapel film was screened in place of The Great Dictator]