Languages Lost and Found: Speaking & Whistling the Mamma Tongue is a short film celebrating diverse linguistic and cultural practices from around the world. Watch a short preview, or click on the image above.
This film screening and discussion will be held on Wednesday, February 23rd from 1-2pm at the Rubin Museum of Art, in conjunction with UNESCO designated International Mother Language Day and the museum’s Lunchmatters program as part of the Body Language Series. The Rubin Museum is at 150 West 17th St. (at 7th Ave.) in New York City. An additional screening will take place on Friday, February 25th at 3pm at Central Connecticut State University, Torp Theater, Davidson Hall, 1615 Stanley St. in New Britain, CT. More info is at www.theatre.ccsu.edu/directions.html
In footage spanning five continents–from rainforest longhouses in Borneo to dramatic mountaintops in the Canary Islands–dynamic visions of art, music, and dance are woven into a vivid, global mosaic. The way we think, speak, and express our ideas is a reflection of our language. This film reminds us of how quickly some languages are disappearing while introducing the native tongue as an all-important vehicle for maintaining culture, sharing traditional wisdom, and envisioning the future.
Academy award-winning actor William Hurt narrates the film, which features music by composer John McDowell, known for his evocative score for the Oscar-winning documentary, Born Into Brothels. Iris Brooks and Jon H. Davis (co-producers and directors) are cultural reporters and explorers who pursue everything from rituals to royalty in far-flung destinations around the world, while keeping their eyes and ears open to the unexpected. At Northern Lights Studio, Brooks and Davis tell tales of exotic travel and culture infused with a refined sensibility through a variety of media: video documentaries, text, photos, graphics, music, and art.
“The melody of this cultural collage is soul-piercing; if we lose our mother tongue, we may lose the essence of who we are.”
-Juliette Blevins, Director of Endangered Language Initiative