Sunday, July 15, 2007

Far better than a free toaster

Yes, I got a bit teary-eyed watching this television commercial, titled "Perla," from Argentina....

[Man interrupts two women who are engaged in a conversation in a small-town sidewalk]
Perla (surprised): "Don Luis, strange to see you around here.."
Don Luis: "I wanted to know... when they gave you the loan from the bank to open your hair salon, did they ask for ID?"
Perla: "Yes"
Don Luis: "The document says that you are a man..."
Perla (turning less friendly): "Yes."
Don Luis: "They still gave it to you."
(woman nods)
Don Luis: "It's the same bank that gave me the loan for the car..."
Perla: "Hm."
Don Luis: "It made me think.. and it made me come to ask for forgiveness for having treated you badly all this time. For not knowing how to treat you... Take this, keep it" (hands the woman a figurine of a ballerina)
Perla (surprised): "For me?"
Don Luis: "Forgive me."
Perla (smiling warmly): "Thanks so much, Don Luis."
Don Luis: "Good-bye."

Caption: Your life changes when there's a bank that dared to change.

Voice-over: "You have a life, you have your bank."

Bravo to Banco Provincia and their ad agency El Cielo Buenos Aires!

(Thanks to Blabbeando for the translation and thanks to Autumn for spotting it.)


helen_boyd said...

that makes me cry every time. just beautiful.

Unknown said...

My friend forwarded me this... it's incredibly sweet, i was teary too.

Jennifer Finney Boylan said...

I guess it's worth posting that I was less moved than helen by this. Yes, it's very sweet. But being moved by it also struck me as setting the bar very low for what we think of as progress. I am trying to imagine an ad in which some old goat approaches an African American and says, "Me and Edna are real sorry about all them LYNCHIN's!" and then gives the nice transgender lady a little prize.

helen_boyd said...

keep the bar high, jenny.

i just find ownership of asshole behavior touching.

i mean if we're going to believe assholes can be redeemed, ever.

Autumn Sandeen said...

I'd like to take credit for finding this video, but it was actually Chris Hinkle of Organisation Intersex International who found the video and did the first translation for it, and Stephanie Kay Stevens (a news archivist for transgendernews) who posted it on the (Ab)Normal Heights blog.

I had a reaction to the video closer to Helen Boyd's reaction. And, I think partially for close to the same reason -- the idea of redemption -- but then partially because the video was done in a way that very much elevated the humanity of both of the two main characters.