WATCH: Celebrities deliver Tagalog translation of Charlie Chaplin’s ’Great Dictator’ speech

Mario Dumaual, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 13 2020 09:59 PM | Updated as of Jun 14 2020 11:24 AM

MANILA—Local celebrities on Friday delivered a Tagalog translation of a speech by Hollywood icon Charlie Chaplin against dictatorship. 

The video, inspired by calls to abolish the new anti-terror bill that human rights activists have raised alarm over, featured a localized version of Chaplin’s speech that was part of the acclaimed 1940 satirical film, "The Great Dictator." 

Check it out below: 


Among those who lent their voices to the project were Enchong Dee, director Joel Lamangan, Iza Calzado, Mae Paner, Agot Isidro, and Glaiza de Castro, alongside other personalities from film, television, theater and music recording. 

Translated by veteran playwright Rody Vera and directed by producer-writer Chuck Gutierrez, the video has garnered 60,000 views and more than 2,000 shares on Facebook, as of posting time. 

Bart Guingona, an actor who is among the video participants, said that it was inspired by Gutierrez and Vera, who were collaborating with the Cultural Center of the Philippines’ Tanghalang Pilipino for the transition to an online platform.

“Chuck produced ‘Lola Doc’ with Nora Aunor. Inspired by the outcome, he mentioned ‘The Great Dictator’ speech to Rody who then readily accepted the job of translating,” Guingona told ABS-CBN News.

“Originally meant for just one actor, they realized it would have more impact using many others. They gathered actors they both respected and released it on the evening of June 12 (Independence Day). It has been so well-received they are now going to do a second version, this time with leaders of various fields.”

One of the monologue’s powerful highlights is the ultimate triumph of freedom, which goes: “Ang pagdurusang laganap ngayon ay dulot ng kasakiman, kapaitan ng ilang takot sa pag-unlad ng sangkatauhan. Ang kapuotan nila ay lilipas din at papanaw ang mga diktador. Ang kapangyarihang inagaw nila ay babalik sa mga tao. Sa kabila ng kamatayan ng marami, ang kalayaan ay di maglalaho.”

It is a direct translation of the Chaplin’s climactic speech in his movie against the rise of dictators such as Hitler of Germany and Mussolini of Italy in the late 1930s: “The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed, the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress. The hate of men will pass and dictators will die and the power they tool from the people will will return to the people. And so as men die, liberty will never perish.”

The video ended with the call: “Mga kababayan, sa ngalan ng demokrasya, magkaisa tayo,” before showing hashtags that read: #JunkAntiTerrorBill, #JunkTerrorBillNow, #ArtistsFightBack, and #ResistAsOne.

In an interview with ABS-CBN News, Gutierrez, who is credited as director of “Iisa” and editor of such movies as “Sunday Beauty Queen,” “Liway,” and “Jay” said he was inspired to finish the video with the help of concerned artists. 

While he did not refer to anyone in particular in the video, Gutierrez said the message of the video collaboration is perfect at a time when freedom of expression is under threat.

“Saktong-sakto siya. I’m a big supporter of Charlie Chaplin from way back. With the recent spate of news, it hit me that more than ever, dapat sabihin ulit ang message ng ‘The Great Dictator.’ I’m happy many people are supporting it,” he said. 

The other volunteers in the video collective are Joanna Ampil, Sue Prado, Ria Atayde, Melvin Lee, Noel Escondo, Jun Sabayton Jr., Rhenwelyn Gabalonzo, Tad Tadioan, Ian Segarra, Guelan Luarca, Marco Viaña, Chynna Ortaleza, and Meann Espinosa. 

Adrienne Vergara, Qiel Quiwa, Missy Maramara, Gabe Mercado, Julia Enriquez, Vance Larena, Kean Cipriano, Toni Go, Steven Conde, Joel Saracho, and Ketchup Eusebio were also part of it. 

Gutierrez is mounting a second edition of the translated speech, this time starring legislators, beauty queens and other stars.