October 21, 2007

Documentary on The Linguists

Garrison filmmakers focus on dying languagesThree young filmmakers, including one from Cold Spring and another from Yorktown, have just completed a documentary on the world's "dying" languages. Nearly 3,500 of the world's 7,000 spoken tongues are rapidly disappearing.

Intrigued by learning that some world languages are threatened with never being heard again, the three accompanied two academic linguists around the world as they investigated languages on the verge of extinction.

They traveled to rugged terrain in Siberia, India and Bolivia to find answers and consider what forces--racism, local violence, economic upheaval--were root causes. They also went to the Southwestern United States, where at least 200 languages spoken by American Indians living on reservations are endangered.

"We really felt like the Indiana Joneses of linguistic study and moviemaking combined," said Jeremy Newberger, 33, of Yorktown, Ironbound Films' chief executive officer.

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