Watching Chaplin’s works, I truly began to admire him: Ayatollah Khamenei


The art of cinema is not an art that [necessarily] requires industrial advances. It is an art that entitles talent, and we have many talented individuals in our society. We look forward to having distinguished actors like Charlie Chaplin in our society. We can imagine that. In terms of talents and manifestation of great talents in all areas, our nation has not been less remarkable than other nations. My impression is that this is the first and foremost matter in cinema. We expect our artists in performance arts to realize great works. I look forward to seeing that, just as in different sectors important work has been done—including in science, industry, social and political areas wherein our young generations have proved their talents and the revolutionary atmosphere of the society and enthusiastic and devout hearts have shown miracles—we also make great achievements in the area of cinema and performance arts. We are not convinced by what had been done so far; indeed, it is not enough for this nation.

Performance arts have generally more potentials for expansion and growth, particularly in the current situation of our society, and hence have heavier responsibilities, too. You should apply Islamic and ethical facts as well as Islamic values—which are the best values, favored by anyone with common sense and impartiality—in your films and plays. It is not acceptable to say that such topics are not suitable for the cinema. Every movie should have a message. All good movies in the world have a message. If I named Charlie Chaplin, it is because I have seen some of his famous movies. I became fascinated by and I have respect for this man. I believe the great work he achieved was only possible via arts. With what language could one indicate the notions conveyed in “Modern Times” or “The Great Dictator”? Employing the language of arts, he has acted as the movie maker, the actor, and he has also done the scriptwriting. He is truly at the top. I mean, all the good movies of the world have a message and a lesson.
Dear artists, what are the lessons and the messages to convey today?

Imam Khamenei, January 23, 1995


  • Artists
  • arts
  • Charlie Chaplin
  • Cinema