English As She Is Spoke, 2010
Video HD, 16:9, color, sound, 46 min.
Written and Directed: João Pedro Vale / Nuno Alexandre Ferreira
Actors: John Romão / Anton Skrzypiciel
Cinematography: Daniel Neves
Video Editing and Post-Production: Pedro Diniz Reis (Resize)
Sound Recording: Nelson Hélder / Pedro Gonçalves
Music: Pedro Pinhal (arrangements and guitar) / Luís Petisca (Portuguese guitar) based on "I'm Like a Bird" by Nelly Furtado.
"English As She Is Spoke", in wich the film is based, is the common name of a 19th century book credited to José da Fonseca and Pedro Carolino, which was intended as a Portuguese-English conversational guide or phrase book, but is regarded as a classic source of unintentional humor. The humour appears to be a result of dictionary-aided literal translation, which causes many idiomatic expressions to be translated wildly inappropriately.
John was born in Azores. With 9 years old he emigrated with his parents to Newark (USA) never coming back.. John grew up in the American culture and the only reference to his homeland culture were some songs that her mother, a frustrated fado singer, used to sing. John doesn't speak Portuguese because his father, since he emigrated to the USA, never allowed the family to speak portuguese at home hoping to feel more American. However, this patriotic glow created among them a new language, since they live too closed in the Portuguese community and his parents never had English lessons.
John always felt without roots. He's not portuguese once his family always avoided any contacts with his homeland culture, but he also never felt totally American. Now, banished from his family, deportee and expelled from the Azorean community, John makes an effort to learn Portuguese as a way to fit in, but soon realizes that his sexual orientation will always be a factor of exclusion within the community of the excluded.
At the end, closed over himself, John sings his fate and his condition.