Les Grandes Ondes (à l'ouest)

After being politically pressured into deviating the focus of his radio station from sensitive subjects to light and positive themes, the programming head sends a team to Portugal during April 1974, to report on the great Swiss cooperation. Little do they know there will be a coup d’etat followed by a revolution.

The team leader is a crusty old has-been, womaniser while being a Kavorka Man. The junior journalist is a die-hard feminist who wants her own radio show. Worse, he pretends he knows how to speak Portuguese but speaks Italian-ish, so no one understands what he says. They find a kid to interpret for them in a village somewhere.

Turns out the great Swiss contribution to Portugal is a bunch of nothing. A alleged village left undone, bar a small plaque. A clock for a school paid by France, Germany and England. A water treatment plant headed by a fascist white supremacist.

They give up on April 24, as the signal for the coup appears on the radio. The Portuguese kid longs for a Swiss Army Knife, and for people being able to vote on things, like in Switzerland. That will never catch on!

But then it does and they file an award winning report. It includes freedom-loving orgies (with added butt slapping), the bossman pretending to speak Portuguese and receiving a standing ovation, and dance battle between the secret police and Pussy Rioters.

There’s an epilogue so that we can see where they are now, both for the characters and for Portugal itself, in the middle of the IMF intervention.


This is my place for ramblings about sequences of images that exploit the human visual limitation know as persistence of vision.

Ephemera of Vision