Sooke Awareness Film Night shines light on Modern Times

Movie first in Intermission Film Series

Awareness Film Night launches its new Intermission Film Series on Nov. 15 with Charlie Chaplin’s Modern Times.

The Intermission Film Series will show comedies and dramas which heighten awareness. The series runs in the months of November, January, March and May.

Partly inspired by a conversation with Mahatma Gandhi about the damaging effects of industrial technology, and partly as a result of the poverty and suffering during the Great Depression, Modern Times is often seen as Chaplin’s greatest film.

It was released in 1936.

Chaplin was preoccupied with the social and economic problems of the new age. In 1931 and 1932 he had left Hollywood behind, to embark on an 18-month world tour.

In Europe, he had been disturbed to see the rise of nationalism and the social effects of the Depression, of unemployment and of automation. He read books on economic theory; and devised his own Economic Solution, an intelligent exercise in utopian idealism, based on a more equitable distribution not just of wealth but of work.

Sound familiar?

Modern Times is perhaps more meaningful now than at any time since its first release.

The 20th-century theme of the film, farsighted for its time – the struggle to reject alienation and preserve humanity in a modern, mechanized world – profoundly reflects issues facing the 21st century.

Awareness Film Night is in the theatre at Edward Milne Community School. Doors open at 6:45 p.m. The film starts at 7 p.m. Admission is by donation.

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