Actor John Lloyd Cruz and journalist Maria Ressa together with new participants: National Artist Ben Cabrera, former Chief Justice Lourdes Sereno, director Lav Diaz, lawyer Chel Diokno, journalist Inday Varona, and other personalities made a second version of The Great Dictator video protest against the recently signed Anti-Terror Law.
The nearly six-minute video featured Rody Vera’s Tagalog translation of a speech from the 1940 Charlie Chaplin movie, The Great Dictator. It was posted on a Monday, July 6, by the film’s director, Chuck Gutierrez. He worked on the film for three weeks with many famous personalities approaching the director to volunteer and partake in the said project.
The director remarked that the second version of the film is stronger in terms of its impact in the light of the recent approval of the Anti-terror Bill and the continuous and increasing repression of media.
The Great Dictator is a 1940 American political satire comedy-drama film written, directed, produced, scored by, and starring British comedian Charlie Chaplin. Chaplin was known to embrace silent films until the comedian made The Great Dictator as his first true sound film. The film is a stirring condemnation of Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, fascism, antisemitism, and the Nazis.
The video was shot in black and white and begins with its opening line by John Lloyd Cruz, “Ikinalulungkot ko pero ayaw kong maging diktador.”
The first Filipino version of this historically significant film was launched on June 12, 2020, after the Anti-Terror Bill was submitted to the Malacañang Palace for approval.
Also in the video are professor Randy David; actors Janine Gutierrez, Jasmine Curtis Smith, Lotlot de Leon, Mae Paner, Nanding Josef and Bituin Escalante; Neri Colmenares; directors Baby Ruth Villarama and Carlitos Siguion Reyna; writer Bibeth Orteza; chairman of the Commission of Human Rights Chito Gascon; bar topnotcher Mae Diane Azores; lawyer Ted Te; party list Rep. Carlos Zarate; businessman Charlie Yu; congressman Kit Belmonte; economist Winnie Monsod; gender equality activist Queenmelo Esguerra; and Sister Mary John Mananzan.
Previous participants from the film’s first launch were also included on the second version. They are Iza Calzado, director Joel Lamangan, Joanna Ampil, Bart Guingona, Sue Prado, Ria Atayde, Melvin Lee, Noel Escondo, Jun Sabayton Jr., Rhenwelyn Gabalonzo, Tad Tadioan, Ian Segarra, Guelan Luarca, Marco Viaña, Chynna Ortaleza, 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.
As the speech talked about the repression of freedom today, there were powerful lines that clearly stood out. “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.”
These lines were directly translated from Charlie Chaplin’s speech from his original film that targeted dictators from his time. “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 took from the people will return to the people. And so as men die, liberty will never perish.”
“Mga kababayan, sa ngalan ng demokrasya, magkaisa tayo,” The video ended with a call out for unity for the country’s freedom after which, the hashtag #junkterrorlaw flashed.
Various groups, lawyers and even lawmakers have filed petitions questioning the constitutionality of the Anti-Terrorism Law before the supreme court.