In 1952, in the time of McCarthyism witch hunts, Charlie Chaplin was branded a communist and banned from entering the US. He used his film ‘A King in New York’ to satirise the country that banned him.
Directing himself in his last starring role, from 1957, Charlie Chaplin, nearing seventy, lets fly with anarchic humor and political outrage. He plays the refined and worthy King Shahdov, deposed and exiled from the land of Estrovia for his rejection of nuclear arms, who arrives in New York as a broke celebrity and is taught by a pushy and seductive ad woman how to cash in on his fame—at the price of his dignity.
Chaplin—who, at the time, was banned from the U.S. on political grounds—lacerates American follies with razor-sharp and white-hot comic ingenuity. His targets include rock music, pop movies, plastic surgery, money worship, progressive schools, and media vulgarity (his riotous invention of the “Real Life Surprise Party” broadcast foreshadows the age of reality TV), but he reserves his fiercest barbs for the persecutions and anxieties of McCarthyite inquests.
Chaplin infuses his derision with bile as he turns the tables on his accusers, and he casts his young son, Michael, in the wrenching role of a precocious ideologue whose father is an unfriendly witness. The New Yorker
Creeping Fascism: Brexit, Trump, and the Rise of the Far Right
A tide of racism, nationalism, and authoritarianism is sweeping the world. With the world economy hobbled by debt and stagnation, society being torn apart by austerity and inequality, and a political system paralysed by corporate power, support for the Far Right is surging. This new book by Dr Neil Faulkner and Samir Dathi argues that we face the clear and present danger of ‘creeping fascism’.