Charlie Chaplin (1889-1977) needs no introduction. His films have brought tears and laughter to the entire world. 'Modern Times', 'City Lights', 'The Gold Rush', 'The Great Dictator', all are masterpieces by this 'Englishman' who made good in the States. Hanns Eisler (1889-1962) was a weird and wonderful German composer with a message: "Ändere die Welt, sie braucht es!". In the turbulence of the years from 1926 to 1930, he and his songs narrowed the gap between poor and rich, and agitated against the pursuit of profit and against the rising tide of Nazism. Like many others, he was forced to emigrate to America. There, he became friends with Charlie Chaplin, who defended him at the McCarthy tribunal, which had branded him as a 'communist threat'. Chaplin returned to England; Eisler, on being deported, opted for the German Democratic Republic. The two never worked together.
A century later, Marc Michael De Smet juxtaposes Chaplin film fragments with solo and choral songs by Eisler. Eisler's songs are still burningly topical, the fragments from Chaplin films, which echo the same questions, still as telling. A film with a song premiere for deSingel!