Life and Death
Language Preservation
Part of the Series: Speaking In Tongues

Syncopated Productions
Show More

Comments (1)

Alex avatar

The very romantic images only sometimes have anything to do with the voice over. Most of the film is talking heads intercut with stock footage or some glob-trotting shots of exotic places. This is a problematic film for teaching anthropology, where we want to question the exoticism of Native ...Read more

Related videos

Speaking In Tongues - The History of Language
Currently there are more than 6,000 languages spoken around the world. This five-part series traces the history and evolution of language and attendant theories and controversies while evaluating the scope of linguistic diversity, the dissemination of language, the expansion of language into written form, and the life cycle of language.…
Civilization to Colonization - Written Language
Part of the Series: Speaking In Tongues
Writing is a relative latecomer to the history of language. This program tracks its emergence in Mesopotamia, China, and Mesoamerica and its down through the millennia via conquest--usually violent, sometimes benign--and colonization. The creation of creoles and pidgins resulting from the interaction of specific populations is also addressed, and speculation…
Let There Be Words - What is Language?
Part of the Series: Speaking In Tongues
What precisely is language and how did humans acquire it? In an effort to answer these essential questions, this program journeys back to prehistoric times in search of languages origin. But this is not a passive discussion, as Noam Chomsky; Brown Universitys Philip Lieberman; Johanna Nichols, of U.C. Berkeley; Stanford…
Mother Tongues - Global Languages
Part of the Series: Speaking In Tongues
This program travels the globe as it surveys a large portion of the worlds languages--25 percent of which are spoken by a mere 0.1 percent of the Earths population. Moving from Africa to Oceania and up to Asia and then west to Europe and across the ocean to the Americas,…
Constant Change - The Spread of Language
Part of the Series: Speaking In Tongues
In this program, John McWhorter, author of The Power of Babel: A Natural History of Language; Lyle Campbell, of the University of Utah; Brian Joseph, of The Ohio State University; and population geneticist Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza examine factors that contributed to the diversification and spread of languages, including early migration,…
Our Daily Bread & Other Films of the Great Depression Collection
This collection contains film portraits of the Great Depression. Franklin Roosevelt's 1933 inauguration marked a rebirth of hope among Americans and began an unprecedented era of government activity and social experiment. The non-fiction films included in this collection mirror the 1930s new social consciousness that was helping to pull America…
The New Frontier
H.P. McClure's The New Frontier offers a forthright, enlightening glimpse into an experimental "Rural Community" sponsored by the Federal Relief Administration (not unlike the socialist commune of King Vidor's Our Daily Bread).
Power and the Land
In the framework of the New Deal politics Joris Ivens was commissioned to film the benefits of rural electrification. The film shows the situation before and after the Rural Electrification Administration brought electricity to the farm of the Parkinson family. Although the commentary is a bit over the top, this…
The River
THE RIVER by Pare Lorentz is a 1938 short documentary which shows the importance of the Mississippi River to the United States, and how farming and timber practices had caused topsoil to be swept down the river and into the Gulf of Mexico. It was written and directed by Pare…
The Plow That Broke the Plains
THE PLOW THAT BROKE THE PLAINS is a short documentary which shows what happened to the Great Plains region of the United States and Canada when uncontrolled agricultural farming led to the Dust Bowl. It was written and directed by Pare Lorentz. Lorentz worked on the film with composer Virgil…
California Election News #1 and 2
California Election News #1a nd 2 are infamous pieces of political propaganda that employed actors to act as regular people. They were used against Upton Sinclair in the 1934 California Governor's election. This historic documentary illustrates the challenges and hardships of the Great Depression through an excellent collection of period…
Diary of a Maasai Village, Part 5: Nine Cows and an Ox
Part of the Series: Diary of a Maasai Village
This final segment of the Diary depicts the ceremony known as the "ox of ilbaa," from which Miisia emerges, acknowledged as a man. Filmmaker: Melissa Llelewyn-Davies