The People in Arms in the People’s Entertainment: Cinema and Political Propaganda in Portugal (1916–1917)
Helena Pinto Janeiro1
In this article2, I examine the use of cinema as political propaganda during the First World War by the Minister of War, José Norton de Matos3. My aim is to identify the first time that an official Portuguese body attempted its own cinematic production and to discuss the role of this inaugural experiment in the context of the most ambitious propaganda operation carried out by any Republican government during the war, namely Operation Tancos. An attempt will then be made to clarify when, how, for whom, and for what ends the first government organization concerned with cinematic production, the Photographic and Cinematographic Section of the Army (SFCE), was created in Portugal.
The fact that hardly any of the earliest films produced by the Portuguese State (in 1916 and 1917) have survived led me to adopt an approach based on the exhibition of the films and their public reception, with respect both to the public showings in Lisbon and Porto and to the private showings made to people in key positions for negotiating the mechanics of the Portuguese military collaboration with the Allies on the western front.
While it was in the course of this war that we first saw “the world-wide 20th century shift to massive state participation in the manipulation of public opinion” (Messinger, 1993: 117), this was a shift that took place at varying paces and on varying scales in the different belligerent countries. In Portugal, state investment in war propaganda is generally considered to have been insignificant (Meneses, 2000: 81-96), which seems to be confirmed by its poor results: with the exception of some elites, the governments of the First Republic were unable to win over the Portuguese to the war cause. However, some writers have claimed that state investment in this area should not be dismissed (Sousa, 2011: 94-99). To date, however, there has been no exhaustive work devoted to this topic either reflecting the more specialized studies produced on the occasion of the recent centenary of the Republic or taking an in-depth look at the material that still remains to be investigated. This is the case, for example, with the SFCE, whose history still remains to be written.4
At the time, the frontiers between propaganda and information were remarkably fluid. Propaganda was often synonymous with the idea of informing or making public, rather than controlling or manipulating. The need for “measures of a moral nature designed to prepare public opinion for participation in the European war”5 was, nevertheless, defended by Portuguese intellectuals, such as the parliamentary deputy, Jaime Cortesão, himself the author of a propaganda pamphlet aimed at the soldier. In his view, as in that of many intellectuals in France and Great Britain who worked as committed propagandists, it was not a matter of manipulation, but rather of “preparing the opinion” of the public to “participate”. The crux of the question was the just nature of the cause, and that was defended above all by going to fight.
What was most important was the fact of Portugal’s going to war — that is, having an army in a position to join the war taking place in the European theater, and actually doing so. Once this had been achieved, the propaganda could be considered to have been successful, precisely because fact was the best possible propaganda. This argument was defended by the head of the Portuguese government, António José de Almeida, in reply to an intervention by Cortesão two months after Germany declared war on Portugal. If the “two types of propaganda are useful,” he said, “propaganda by way of fact is always the better one”.6
The proposition that facts speak for themselves is, of course, itself a form of propaganda,7 and one that was quickly employed by Cortesão himself. A few months later, we see him praising the virtues of propaganda, and of the man who embodied it, the minister Norton de Matos (Cortesão 1919: 25). It was not by chance that he did this at the end of the summer of 1916, following an event that exemplified the concept in Portugal. This fact was the mobilization, transport and military training of tens of thousands in a training camp in the middle of the country, the military polygon of Tancos, constituted for that purpose as a city of “wood and canvas”. After just three months of training, the impoverished Portuguese army was revived, drawing for its raw material on a mass of civilians from the interior of Portugal, mostly rural and illiterate, and of dubious republican leanings. The achievement was immediately dubbed the “Miracle of Tancos”, celebrated both as a civil liturgy of republicanism, drawing on and appropriating traditional Catholic imagery, and as evidence of the modernity of the Republic.8
A similar dialogue between the vernacular and the modern took place in cinema in that decade. Certainly, a properly modernist aesthetic was to be found in Portuguese cinematography only much later, in the late 1920s and early 1930s.9 However, as James Donald remarks, “the modernism of cinema, as well as its modernity, may be found just as much in the vernacular experience of cinema as in supposedly modernist films” (Donald, 2010: 514). The cultural practice of going to the cinema, as a mass entertainment,10 was also a new form of acculturation for the soldiers at the front.11
However, a methodological approach focusing on war culture is hindered by the lack of any historical studies of the SFCE. This is an obstacle that affects the study of other institutions of the First Republic, and one that prevents us from tackling war culture without, at the same time, engaging in a study of the institutional and political framework (Correia, 2011: 31). It is for this reason that significant space is devoted in this study to clearing up elements such as the date of the creation of the new organization and the context in which it appeared, its objectives, and the themes of the films produced.
After a first section in which I shall try to situate the Portuguese experience in its context, an analysis is then made of the initial experiment that, in the summer of 1916, placed the Miracle of Tancos on the screen, followed by an analysis of the SFCE in its first year of operation.
1. The creation of the first official cinematic organizations in the belligerent countries
Although it was not the first time that moving images had been used in the context of military conflict,12 the First World War was the first truly mediatized war in history (Véray, 2008: 28). Cinema became a mass industry at the same time as war, too, became a mass phenomenon, a total experience that affected an unprecedented number of people, both military and civilian, belligerent and neutral. By being a late entrant into the war (March 1916), Portugal was to benefit from the steps already taken by the other belligerent nations, for whom the use of cinema had not seemed to be an immediate priority at the outbreak of the conflict (Véray, 2008: 30). First it was necessary, amongst other things, to overcome the prejudices of the leading elites, for whom cinema was a vulgar, not to say disreputable, form of entertainment that was more to the taste of the popular classes (Reeves, 1999: 23).
The tremendous potential of cinematography was in time recognized by the principal belligerents, who invested in the creation of organizations for the production of films, particularly newsreel. In January 1917, in the same month that the SFCE was formed in Lisbon, a Section photographique et cinématographique de l’armée was established in France. This section was formed from two separate organizations, concerned with photography and cinema respectively, but the change was not merely bureaucratic. Instead, it symbolized the French government’s desire to start its own cinematographic production, rather than limiting itself to working with the major film companies, as had been the case with the former Section cinématographique de l’armée.
In Great Britain, an official body dedicated to wartime films, the War Office Cinema Committee (WOCC), had been formed shortly before this, in the last quarter of 1916, as had the German Militärische Film- und Photostelle (Military Film and Photo Office). The latter body emerged in November of that year to supervise filming related to the war, being transformed in early 1917 into a new Bild- und Filmamt (Picture and Film Office), under the joint control of the Army High Command and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. While Germany showed no hesitation in publicly acknowledging its commitment to cinema as a weapon of war, Britain preferred to conceal its involvement in propaganda. The creation of the WOCC nevertheless preceded the formation of an official propaganda body for the home front by a year and a half,13 since, by focusing on the production of newsreel, the government could maintain the impression that it was portraying reality, and not producing propaganda as such (Reeves, 1999: 22-23).
2. The first experiment: the Miracle of Tancos in film
In Portugal, the Ministry of War headed by Major Norton de Matos started to invest in producing propaganda for cinema, even before it was agreed that Portugal should enter the European theater of war, and not simply — as its old ally, Britain, wished — send workers and war materials to France, while confining its troops to the African theater, on the two fronts in Angola and Mozambique.
In the first phase, cinema produced at the government’s initiative had a double objective. On the one hand, it sought to exhibit the people in arms at private showings for key foreign figures, and to promote the Portuguese government’s desire to send troops to Flanders. On the other hand, it sought to exhibit the people in arms to those who went to the cinema,14 which was still insecure in its social status. In fact, in the 1910s, the showing of films was a cheap form of entertainment, generally conducted in premises constructed for other purposes, and not greatly favored by the upper classes, who tended to disdain it.
With the training at Tancos, and particularly the military parade that took place on July 22 1916 in the neighboring camps at Montalvo, the people “now have their theater, which is indispensable for the crowd. The People only learn by looking” (Cortesão, 1919: 25). The parade impressed the country and for a moment silenced those who opposed participation in the European war. In fact, more than being just a piece of theater, the operation at Tancos was set up by Norton de Matos’ ministry as a massive cinematic production, and the protagonists of the production were the people themselves. The people in arms were considered a collective personality, embodied in the 20,000 Portuguese who paraded in order to show Portugal and the world that the Portuguese Republic was in a position to fight in Flanders. The parade was recorded in two cinematic productions, one being an initiative of the Ministry of War, and the other being the work of a private company based in Porto, Invicta Film.
The production by Invicta Film, in two parts, was entitled “The Portuguese Mobilization at Tancos”. It was premièred on August 3 1916 at the Salão Teatro Passos Manuel, in Porto, and was advertised in the press that morning as being an “impressive patriotic spectacle” and a “cinematic event of the most sensational and exciting topicality”. To some extent, this made amends for the absence of journalists from Porto at the parade, because there had not been enough takers for the special train that the Ministry of War had tried to organize, along the lines of the one that came from Lisbon.
The next day, the Porto morning paper O Primeiro de Janeiro judged the double showing of the previous evening to have been a success, with an attendance of:
And it continued, emphasizing:
Shortly afterwards, two other cinemas in Porto, the Salão da Trindade and the High Life-Batalha, announced the exhibition of another film about the same military events. The “Great military parade in Montalvo”, also presented as “Military exercises at Tancos”, was to be:
Here the stamp of approval from the Ministry is offered as further guarantee of its authenticity. In fact, the announcement in Primeiro de Janeiro claims that it is the “only [film] not to contain worthless material”, in what amounts to a clear rebuke to the rival documentary from Invicta Film. It had been specially commissioned by the Ministry from the retired captain Carlos Nogueira Ferrão (1871-1938),15 and was shot by an operator from the Laboratory of Portuguese Cinematographic Films, Ernesto de Albuquerque (1833-1940).
Recently retired from the army, Ferrão was an enthusiast not only of the still image but also of the moving image, having taken part, since 1912, in the management of a film distribution company (the Companhia Cinematográfica de Portugal), and eventually becoming the owner of a film theater in Lisbon. The choice of Albuquerque, in turn, was a guarantee of success from the outset, bearing in mind the impact of his first film, made in 1909, about cocoa production in São Tomé, commissioned by the Lisbon Geographic Society. There was at the time a heated international controversy over the alleged use of Angolan slave labor for cocoa production in the Portuguese colony of São Tomé, known in Portugal as “A Questão dos Serviçais” (the Contract Labor Question), and in the Anglo-Saxon world as the “cocoa slave” scandal. It was most likely the controversy, rather than the exotic colonial setting, that guaranteed Albuquerque’s film a wide audience. According to the magazine Cine-Revista, it had been “shown on the world’s principal screens”.16
Being about a matter that was of considerable interest, the Tancos film was shown in the largest theater in Lisbon at that time, the Coliseu dos Recreios, on August 10, 1916. It appeared under the title of “Infantry, cavalry and artillery exercises by the Tancos Military Division”, and was considered by a Lisbon evening paper to be:
Although we do not know in full the theaters at which the two films were shown, or the audiences they received, we can see that they were exhibited with great success in major cinemas in at least two of the country’s principal cities, in the context of what constituted, at that time, the most complex military operation ever undertaken in Portugal. The operation was a major event, whose potential for public entertainment and commercial success was recognized by a private company such as Invicta Film, which was already positioning itself as the most important film production company in the country. Concomitantly, it was one of the different vehicles through which the Ministry of War recorded and simultaneously created the Miracle of Tancos (Janeiro, 2010). Moving pictures thus took their place alongside another medium of modern propaganda, also employed by the Ministry: the still picture, or photograph. In fact, the Ministry did not simply authorize the work of photojournalists from the Portuguese press, but also engaged a civilian photographer (Arnaldo Garcês) to make an official feature about Tancos (Vicente, 2000).17
Less than two minutes’ footage survives of the film that was made at Tancos. This was integrated into Pathé’s Journal Actualité and the Hearst Pathé News the following year18, when the Portuguese troops in France had effectively been incorporated into the British army. There are thirty-five meters of film, which does not allow for a very detailed analysis of the content.19 In the first part, Portuguese troops cross a pontoon of boats at Vila Nova da Barquinha, and hundreds of soldiers march in a column on the Montalvo plain. After scenes of trench digging, it is the turn of the cavalry, first seen crossing the plain in formation, and then performing exercises on uneven terrain and crossing a river. In the later scenes, we see troops marching to a railway station, accompanied by civilians, and the departure of the train, full of soldiers waving their handkerchiefs to the civilians on the platform. The intertitles added to the version of the newsreel seen in the US, by arrangement with Pathé, underscore the moving images on the screen: “The young Republic is supplying its quota of men to the Allied Armies and thousands of recruits prepare for duty.”
We have no way of knowing if the images in the Pathé newsreel were taken from the Invicta film or from that made by the Ministry. Both possibilities are plausible. On the one hand, Invicta Film had a contract with Pathé and Gaumont to supply images of Portuguese news to France (Ribeiro, 1983: 71). It would not be surprising, therefore, if images from the Invicta film had been integrated into the newsreel produced in France. On the other hand, we know that at the end of 1916 the minister at the Portuguese Legation in Paris, João Chagas, urged Norton de Matos to have the film exhibited in France, thereby capitalizing for propaganda purposes on the interest amongst the French media in the imminent disembarkation of Portuguese troops in France (ANM, letter from João Chagas to Norton de Matos, Paris, December 18, 1916, MS, signed). In any case, the images were shown in France, the United States, and very probably in Great Britain,20 thus contributing to the propaganda about the Portuguese war effort abroad.
In Portugal, as well as being shown to the general public in cinemas, the film produced for Norton de Matos was shown to important foreign figures at private sessions. These included Major-General Nathaniel Barnardiston (1858-1919), head of the Franco-British military mission that came to Portugal on August 30, 1916, to negotiate the conditions under which Portugal should participate in the war effort on the western front. Shortly after arriving, he was invited to accompany the Minister of War at a private showing with films from the Tancos camp, which he considered to be “very good” (KCL-LHCMA, Barnardiston Papers, Barnardiston: 3/3, [Diary] 1916, MS). Two days later, in an official report to the War Office, he made a favorable overall assessment of the meetings that had taken place, and of the visits effected by the mission that he led:
These words are particularly significant, bearing in mind that they were written barely two weeks after Barnardiston had arrived in Lisbon with precise instructions from the War Office to persuade the Portuguese authorities to restrict their participation in the war to the African front, sending to the European front only workers and war material, and never, in any circumstances, troops. That the British officer should have changed his position so significantly, after just a few days, was surely not related only to the fact that he did not wish to be outflanked by the French, who did not conceal their interest in bringing Portuguese troops into the heart of their own army. His contacts with the Portuguese troops — not only at official meetings and in visits to various military establishments, but also by way of the documentary film of the maneuvers at Tancos — must certainly have contributed to the marked improvement in Barnardiston’s impression of the value of the Portuguese army since his arrival in Lisbon.
We see, then, that the commissioning by the Ministry of War of a documentary film of the military maneuvers at Tancos was an integral part of the propaganda exercise mounted by the War Minister, Norton de Matos, to demonstrate that the Portuguese army was ready to fight in France. The official film from Tancos was also used to strengthen his position in negotiations with the allies over the nature and scale of Portugal’s participation in the Flanders theater of war. The private showings on this diplomatic front were held in parallel to the public screenings on the Portuguese cinema circuit. The fact that the most important commercial cinema company in the country, based in Porto, had also made a film about Tancos, specifically of the July 22 parade, and that they had both been a success at the box office, shows the eagerness of the Portuguese public to see the war on the screen, even when, as here, it had not moved from the war games conducted in training camps to the real war in the trenches.
3. Institutionalization: the Photographic and Cinematographic Section of the Army in the year of its foundation
The commission given by Norton de Matos to Captain Ferrão in the summer of 1916 started out as an isolated experiment related to an exceptional event. Having had such good results, the Minister decided to take the next step, creating, through his order of January 12, 1917,21 an organization capable of producing its own films: the Photographic and Cinematographic Section of the Army (SFCE). Once again, the timing is not accidental, as this date fell just two weeks before the Portuguese Expeditionary Force (CEP) was set to sail from Lisbon to Flanders, on board three British steamships.
On January 17, five days after the order creating the SFCE, Captain Ferrão received an urgent summons to active military service from the Minister of War. Two days later, he found himself engaged with the 4th Department of the 1st General Staff of the War Secretariat, working on the setting up of the new section devoted to photography and cinema, under the orders of Lieutenant-Colonel Desidério Beça (AHM, Cx. 2396). One of the first films to be produced under this new arrangement was the embarkation of Portuguese troops for France.22
The Department headed by Beça had a decidedly educational role, given that it was in charge of all matters related to the training establishments under the supervision of the Ministry of War and the organization of Preparatory Military Training.23 For an army that was in the throes of a paradigm shift, transforming itself into a nation-in-arms while still maintaining a professional force, it was essential to provide instruction to the civilians engaged in military service. In general, education in republican values, both for civilians and career soldiers, was vital for the consolidation of the young Republican regime. Furthermore, the great value of a medium such as cinema in the education of soldiers had already been recognized by officers’ associations in Lisbon, such as the Military Fraternity, which had been providing training sessions for this purpose in a Lisbon cinema since 1914.24
It is not surprising, then, that it was the educational aspect that was highlighted by the cinephile press when it reported that the SFCE had set up provisional headquarters in Lisbon. While the cinema could also serve to entertain the soldier during his rest periods, it should above all educate him as a citizen, instilling in him a love for his country, so as to be better able to defend it against the enemy:
After three months of operations, the SFCE had four documentary films ready: “Trials at the Military Aeronautical School and the launch of the gunship Bengo”, “The fall of a Zeppelin”, “Trials at the War School” and “Embarkation of the Portuguese troops”. These were to be shown at a matinee performance to mark the official inauguration of the Section,25 to take place, with due pomp and circumstance, at the São Carlos Theater, in Lisbon.26 The ceremony was intended to coincide with the second anniversary of the revolution of May 14, 1915,27 but did not take place because of a more pressing matter: the Minister’s visit to France and England.28
If education was one of the main functions of the new official body devoted to cinema, it also had two further objectives: to create propaganda and to leave a record for the future. This was the triple aim of the SFCE, set out by the Minister of War in an order at the beginning of April: “that of constituting a historical archive,29 that of instruction, and that of propaganda for the military institutions”.30
The aim of constituting a historical archive was closely linked to that of instructing the troops, seeking to provide “study elements for our military schools and army units, by way of photography and of still and moving projection”.31
The Minister of War himself envisaged the creation of a historical record, and in May he gave the first instructions for the creation of a future Portuguese Museum of the Great War, which was formalized by a decree published in October.32 In order “to perpetuate the memory of Portugal’s armed intervention and to document, in the most complete way possible, the efforts of the nation and the political and military work of the Republic”, he decided to gather together an extensive and varied list of objects. Amongst them were included “photographic and cinematographic records referring to the facts, aspects, incidents and propaganda of our military preparation and action”. The following month, the general press in Lisbon, in assessing the cinematic production of the SFCE since its creation, regarded it as being precisely a methodical effort in support of the Museum of the Great War and of a film archive for the purposes of military training.33 Unhappily for the historian, Norton de Matos’ decree was annulled shortly after the revolution of December 5 1917, which ushered in the dictatorship of Sidónio Pais.34 His efforts to use films for public memory were thus thwarted.
Despite this, we can form an idea of the propaganda potential of the films produced by the Ministry of War’s film unit in 1917 from the themes that they dealt with. As well as the military preparations themselves, they covered patriotic festivals which had a highly symbolic value in the Republican imagination. An example of this was the celebration organized by pupils at the Odivelas Institute, a boarding school for the daughters of the military, on June 10, the day of the national poet, Camões.35
The commemorations, in 1880, of the third centenary of the death of Camões had inaugurated a “nationalist-imperialist cycle” of commemorative civic liturgies (Catroga, 1998: 226), bringing the Republican masses into the streets. In 1917, with the Republic now a few years old and undergoing its baptism of fire in the war, the mobilizing power of the celebrations of the author of the national epic of the Discoveries, suitably republicanized, was not as great as in earlier times. Its evocative potential remained considerable, however, being used to reinforce the belief in an Allied victory, and with it a Portuguese victory. At the celebrations held on June 10, 1917, presided over by the Head of State, Bernardino Machado, and filmed by the SFCE, the girls of the school paraded with the flags of the Allied nations, wearing the regional costumes of these same countries. The anniversary of the Portuguese national poet was thus associated with the Allied troops at war, whose victory was declared in advance, since it was already called the “Victory Festival”. In the postwar years, June 10 would become associated precisely with the memory of the war dead, and, more enduringly, would be transformed from a Lisbon festival into a national festival.36 By filming the Camões celebrations, reinvented as a celebration of the Republican victory in the war, the SFCE was making propaganda by using an imagery that was not only Republican but national.37
The other films shown on the commercial circuit in Lisbon the following autumn were all related to events of a military nature taking place in the country. On October 19, in the Salão Trindade, the film “Final trials for trainees of the School of War” was premièred. At the end of the month, a further five “official films by the Portuguese Ministry of War” were premièred, this time in two Lisbon cinemas simultaneously, the Chiado Terrace and the Olympia: “Delivery of the flag of the city of Lisbon to the cruiser Vasco da Gama”; “Transport of troops for France”; “School for officers of the militia (Queluz)”; “Flying school in Vila Nova da Rainha”; and “Launch of the gunship Bengo”. The cinephile press regarded them as “titles worthy of the national effort, which, in their attention to detail and as we have said above, are placed in absolutely competent hands” (“Filmes nacionais”, Cine-Revista,Ano I - Nº 9, November 15, 1917). Another film, this time about the oath to the flag at the School of War, was already planned for early exhibition at the Salão Central.
On October 25, the SFCE filmed the return to Lisbon from the Portuguese front in France of the President of the Republic, Bernardino Machado, accompanied by the Prime Minister, Afonso Costa.38 In the short four and a half-minute clip, there are no close-ups of the returning dignitaries, or of the civil and military authorities that, according to press reports,39 had attended the railway station in strength. The action takes place outside and the dignitaries are seen from a distance, with the principal role being given to the crowd. The film starts as the President and a number of ministers arrive at the exit to Rossio station and prepare to get into their carriages, escorted by a cavalry squadron of the Republican Guard, in full uniform. Facing them are hundreds of cadets on parade, from various military schools. The second scene takes place in the Dom Pedro square, where, lined by a large naval contingent with its own band, the cortege passes with its carriages and its cavalry escort. Behind this follow motor cars with the remainder of the entourage and members of the public, in great numbers. The crowd that presses forward and fills the streets appears prominently in the following scenes. Certainly many of them were there because they had been mobilized for the purpose by the authorities, not only the military personnel but the civilians as well, since public servants had been given leave to attend. Even so, Republicans had turned out in force, and, by the title it gave to the film (Portuguese Participation in the War), the SFCE sought to link this public display with a demonstration of support not only for Machado and Costa, but also for the troops in France.40
While Portugal’s military preparations for war were recorded on film by the SFCE, the same cannot be said of the war itself. It is known that, in October, the commander of the CEP was warned that the government would soon be discussing a proposal to send a camera operator to France, with the appropriate equipment. A newsreel reporter, together with a photographer and a journalist — the latter promoted to the rank of Captain — would thus join the photographer Arnaldo Garcês and the painter Sousa Lopes, already in France with the CEP, on the orders of Norton de Matos. The aim behind strengthening the personnel was to create “propaganda and publicity in our country, as well as to draw out all the relevant political and social advantages of our intervention in the war”.41 Even if it was now the Minister of Training who was responsible for this objective, the truth is that the initiative continued to come from his colleague at the War Ministry. It was from the latter that the invitation to Ernesto de Albuquerque to film the CEP in France originated.42
The choice was understandable, seeing that Albuquerque had worked with Captain Ferrão when the latter had been commissioned by Norton de Matos the previous summer to film the maneuvers at Tancos. The “great and worthy success”43 of that film was recalled by the cinephile press years later, which then highlighted the role of Albuquerque, while leaving Ferrão in the shadows.44
Albuquerque never set out for France to film the war, or even the rearguard of the war, since the revolution by Sidónio Pais had thwarted his departure. The cinematic coverage of the Portuguese involvement on the western front of the twentieth century’s first world war remained in the hands of French and British film crews. In it, death — death on a massive scale, which was the great protagonist of the war — would play no part.45
The politician who lifted up the impoverished Portuguese army and took it to fight in the European theater in the First World War, the Minister of War, Norton de Matos, was also responsible for the creation of the first official body devoted to cinema in Portugal, the Photographic and Cinematographic Section of the Army (SFCE). It is known that, in the early stages, political interest in silent documentary cinema seems to have been intended solely to record an improbable fact: the Portuguese people were from then on ready to go and fight in Europe. In fact, in the film of the military parade at Tancos, in the summer of 1916, the protagonist is the people in arms, which the people would see in cinemas (in Portugal, France, the US and, very probably, in Great Britain), and which political and military figures would also see at private showings, used by the Minister of War for purposes of military diplomacy. This single experiment that summer, to capture an exceptional event, was to become institutionalized through its own organization when the first troops were on the point of embarking for France, in 1917. The new body, named along the lines of its French counterpart, was charged with a triple task: to build up historical archives, to aid training, and to make propaganda for the military institutions. At the end of the year, when Norton de Matos was planning to extend cinematic coverage from the rearguard of the war, in Portugal, to the country where the Portuguese were actually fighting, his government fell victim to a revolution led by a politician who placed cinema at the service of his own personal promotion to the popular masses, by filming his own reception by crowds, which his journeys around the country had turned into (Sousa, 2011: 132-142). The impression he left was so strong that when, a few months later, in April 1918, he published a decree allegedly creating the SFCE, everyone quickly forgot that Sidónio Pais had simply made use of the infrastructure that Norton de Matos had created, and had left in place and still running.
Arquivo Nacional das Imagens em Movimento (ANIM), Bucelas. Participação de Portugal na Guerra – Regresso do Presidente da República da Sua Viagem ao "Front" Portuguez, online at http://www.cinemateca.pt
Arquivo Histórico-Diplomático – Ministério dos Negócios Estrangeiros (AHD-MNE), Lisbon, Archive of the Portuguese Legation in London, Maço 92
Arquivo Norton de Matos (ANM), Ponte de Lima, Various documents
Arquivo Histórico Militar (AHM), Lisbon, Caixa 1440, Processo Individual de Desidério Augusto Ferro Beça; Caixa 2396, Processo Individual de Carlos Ribeiro Nogueira Ferrão
Gaumont Pathé Archives, Saint-Ouen, Journal Actualité Pathé / Hearst Pathé News, 1917 117 and 1917 297, online at http://www.gaumontpathearchives.com
King’s College London – Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives (KCL-LHCMA), London, Barnardiston Papers
National Archives (NA-UK), London, WO/106/546
Cine-Revista, Lisbon, 1917-1918
A Capital,Lisbon, 1916, 1917
Diário de Notícias, Lisbon, 1917
Diário da Câmara dos Deputados (DCD), Lisbon, 1916
Diário do Governo (DG), Lisbon, 1911, 1917-1919
Ilustração Portuguesa, Lisbon, 1914
A Manhã, Lisbon, 1918
O Mundo, Lisbon, 1916
O Primeiro de Janeiro, Porto, 1916
República, Lisbon, 1916
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Andrade, Luís Miguel Oliveira (2001). História e memória: a Restauração de 1640: do liberalismo às comemorações centenárias de 1940. Coimbra: MinervaCoimbra.
Baptista, Tiago (2010). “Cinema, povo e público”, in Neves, José (ed.),Como se faz um povo: ensaios em história contemporânea de Portugal. Lisbon: Tinta da China. 455-467.
Baptista, Tiago (2012). “Cinema e política na I República”, in Rollo, M. F. (ed.), Congresso Internacional I República e Republicanismo: Atas. Lisbon: Assembleia da República. 454–466.
Catroga, Fernando (2010). Entre Deuses e Césares: Secularização, Laicidade e Religião Civil: Uma Perspectiva Histórica. Coimbra: Almedina.
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1 Institute of Contemporary History (Faculty of Human and Social Sciences, New University of Lisbon). 1069-061 Lisbon, Portugal. E-Mail email@example.com
Received for publication: 2 April 2013
2013, ISSN 1645-6432
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