Posted in English

How Fernando Pessoa Saved Portugal

Yesterday’s post was about the strange case of Fernando Pessoa’s advertising slogan for Coca Cola in 1927. As I mentioned, there seem to be a few different perspectives on the motives of the people involved, but I don’t think the facts of the matter are in doubt.

Anyway, it turns out that there’s a short movie about the incident. It’s made by a French company but it’s in portuguese with English subtitles. Someone’s put it on Facebook. Hurry though, it might not be there forever. It’s a good length and very easy to follow, so I can recommend it even if your listening skills are underdeveloped.

The film has a slightly playful, surreal tone. The name of the drink os given as “Coca Louca” and it translates the slogan as “First you’re surprised, then you’re possessed”, then plays with that idea of possession by showing the minister for health convinced that the drink contains evil demons which need to be cast out by an exorcist with a bottle opener in the shape of a crucifix!

It also depicts the poet not as Pessoa himself but as Álvaro de Campos, one of the heteronyms, who appears in the film as a separate person, looking just like the man himself.

A still from the movie "Como Fernando Pessoa Salvou Portugal"
Fernando Pessoa Working Up a Thirst


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