This film explores the challenges facing young indigenous people as they struggle to learn the languages of their forebears before they go extinct.
Set in Taiwan and Hawai'i, territories where languages of the Austronesian family are spoken, this experimental documentary focuses on the questions, desires and challenges of young indigenous peoples to learn the languages of their forebears-- languages that are endangered or facing extinction. Using digital video as the primary medium of expression, four young indigenous women from divergent backgrounds together collaborate and exchange ideas to consider the impact of language on identity and culture.
With 96% of the world's population speaking only 4% of the world's languages, what does it mean to speak your mother tongue in this age of language homogenization? To put it another way, what do you lose when you lose your native language? These are just some of the questions that these women, with camera in hand, ask themselves, their families and peers.
"You already know the importance of saving a language. The main point is that you must start doing it. You know the reason, but not the motivation to save it. This is where I'm confused. You can also say I'm waiting for that something," - An-Chi Chen - youth director, Tongues of Heaven.
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