While we chatter away globally in more than 7,000 languages, one tongue is lost to us every two weeks. In Bolivia, for example, the Kallawaya language of the Andes is learned only by adults who explore the rituals and practices of medicine, and fewer than 100 of those remain. All over the world, languages such as this are disappearing.
So, in true Indiana Jones fashion, linguists David Harrison and Gregory Anderson have set out to record every one of these nearly dead languages. They trek deep into jungles and all manner of dangerous and hidden places in a race against time to save these tongues for posterity.
With two quirky and amusing characters leading the charge, it’s difficult not to love this film. It’s accessible ethnography – and that’s saying something. The Linguists has screened at the Sundance Film Festival, the Big Sky Documentary Festival, the National Geographic All Roads Film Festival, FilmFest Hamburg, UNESCO in Paris and many others. Partners: Ironbound Films (Garrison), distributed by APT Worldwide (Boston)
Length: 52 minutes
Rights available: Worldwide broadcast