Su Excelencia: The Speech of Cantinflas (the full speech)

This is a clip from a Mexican movie featuring the comedic genius Cantinflas. The name of the movie is “Su Excelencia” and it is subtitled in English.

“It is a 1967 Mexican political satire film directed by Miguel M. Delgado and starring Cantinflas, Sonia Infante, and Guillermo Zetina. The film is set in a fictional dystopia where “Red” and “Green” countries are the political equivalents of the socialist and capitalist countries of the Cold War, which the film satirizes. Cantinflas portrays Lopitos, a chancellor stationed in his country’s (Republica de Los Cocos) embassy in the communist country of Pepeslavia who later ascends to the role of ambassador and has to decide the pivotal vote of joining the “Reds” or the “Greens”, therefore deciding the fate of one hundred nations.

Lopitos, who is horribly inefficient but quick-witted, is invited (because of the current ambassador’s superstition about 13 sitting down to a meal) to a banquet attended by the ambassadors of both superpowers. After the news of a series of coups d’état in Los Cocos arrives throughout the meal, Lopitos becomes the official ambassador.

At a summit of world leaders, the representatives of the two world superpowers, “Dolaronia” (a play on words of the dollar, the currency of USA) and “Pepeslavia”, court the allegiances of third-world diplomats to tilt the balance of global power in their favor. The last diplomat to remain unaligned, Lopitos instead harangues the superpowers for infringing on the rights of developing countries to self determination, talking to them with his point of view as a citizen not as ambassador because he arranged his demise as ambassador one day before his speech.”

The amazing thing about the speech is that it applies to this very day. Nothing has changed. Here is an example of a Mexican actor/director who used his talents as a tool for activism via his craft.  His movies were always profound in a hilarious way conveying a sincere message calling for love, world peace and social equality. He was critical of all political and social injustice. His ART was a gift to humanity. May he rest in peace. 

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