Posted by JC on April 18th, 2011
Came across this – it’s an ad, but it’s still a nice little piece:
And here is the original it was copied from:
The Power of Words is a remake of the film Historia de un Letrero, which won the first prize in the short film category at the Cannes Film Festival in 2008. Thanks to Ivan Strahan in Donaghadee for the link!
Very moving. I tried to guess what she wrote but couldn’t! Be a good one for the Fred Hollowes Foundation.
It looked like an ad for the charm of the rich well dressed who buy the right gear. But much nicer ad than that.
I liked it. But I had to listen three times before I adjusted to the accent and could understand her.
The power of words, fantastic.
cynical me – thought she was coming back for her cut
And “cynical me”, too. But for a different reason.
I can see how the modification of words evoke a more heart-rending response for the Soft and Kind-of-heart. But it’s also a playful message, conveying an affecting pathos by way of deliberate artistic contrast between the Haves and Have-not. And it’s accentuated by the dreamy sentimentalism of the music.
To me, the guy’s an eyesore amongst the classical Romanesque archways, pillars and paving; which feature the designer fashion stores in the
background and where the Scottish lasses are young and very pretty. It’s all so very pleasing to the eye by being “immaculate”, save for the visual dissonance of this solitary studded figure.
The guy’s props (cardboard mat and sign, and the label-less can) are his stock tools of trade to market his disability under these symbolic configurations of the verb “to beg”. He’s not so much a counterpoint to this mise-en-scène’s aesthete but rather its defiler.
Really, someone needs to move him on to the other side of town.
The pictures conveyed to me more than the words.Some of Merv’s take on this rang true to me with ” too good to be true “resonating in the background.If our society thinks its ok to leave the blind to beg for a living(Im assuming this is a form of subsistance for him)and helping him to improve his begging technique,is the answer to his problem, maybe we miss the point.
BE: This is really a response to several of the people who have commented on the ad. Yes, it’s an indictment of any society that the blind or disabled have to beg in the street. And we ought to point that out. But what the stylishly dressed young woman in the ad and the stylishly dressed man in the short film did was use their skills to make the blind man’s life much better, in monetary terms at least. They helped him. They could instead have stood with placards that said “Shame!”, which would have been very principled and noble, but would not have helped him pay for lodgings or food that night. So there are short-term, immediate solutions to the problem of poverty and long-term (generally political) solutions. We need both. This is the problem with charity. It is capricious, unreliable and tends to disguise social problems, but it still has a value. Beware counsels of perfection.