Mother Tongue Film Festival: Sustenance (Shorts Program)Films, Lectures & Discussions
Saturday, February 24, 2024, 11am – 1:45pm EST
These collected shorts from around the world explore different dimensions of finding sustenance—whether through connecting to place and kin, cooking and eating food, or different forms of artistic expression. Evoking the many dimensions and transformations in these ongoing practices, these films reveal the various ways humans connect to their world. Stay after the films for a Q&A with attending directors.
Imalirijit (dirs. Vincent L’Herault, Time Anaviapik Soucie, 2021)
Tim is a young father living in Pond Inlet, Nunavut. As his grandfather did before, he wants to start his own study of water quality to benefit his community. Tim embarks on an inspiring research journey that will lead to empowerment and cultural revitalization. The experience becomes an awakening for Tim and his team, harboring a wind of change and adaptation for this community of the Canadian Arctic.
Bhaskar Chitrakar: Painting Kalighat Moderns (dirs. Matthew Raj Webb, Ihaab Syed, Rohan Sengupta, 2024)
This audiovisual portrait of hereditary artist and urban chronicler Bhaskar Chitrakar explores his painting style that reimagines a centuries-old, mixed-media tradition of religious idol representation at Kolkata’s Kalighat temple.
wA’yûnA (dir. Serena Mosquito, 2023)
Bring your appetite for learning and get ready to blend up some fun! Serena Mosquito whips up a smoothie while speaking in Euchee, a linguistically distinct language spoken in Oklahoma. Equal parts humor and culinary delight, this student film is as charming as it is educational, yielding a heartwarming cultural tribute.
Ekbeh (dir. Mariah Hernandez-Fitch, 2023)
While learning to make gumbo from her grandparents, Mariah Fernandez-Fitch draws out their personal stories as a way to honor and preserve their Indigenous history and life.
Mutsoóngo Malaávu (dir. Rosa Vieira, 2023)
In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, palm wine tapsters play a key role in Yoómbe village life. Palm wine is an alcoholic beverage, drawn from the top of the oil palm, associated with the ancestors. Limber climbers extract this ancient drink to share among family, friends, and guests.
Burros (dir. Jefferson Stein, 2021)
Set in southern Arizona, twenty miles from the Mexico border in the Tohono O’odham Nation, a six-year-old Indigenous girl (Amaya Juan) discovers a Hispanic migrant her age who has lost her father while traveling through the tribal lands into the United States.
Silt (dir. Emilie Upczak, 2022)
A botanist grieving the death of a beloved aunt travels alone to northern Mexico, where she is nourished by images of the last trip they took together, traversing the Colorado River.
A Bata do Milho / Corn Beat (dirs. Eduardo Liron, Renata Mattar, 2023)
In Serra Preta of Bahia, a region of northeast Brazil with a distinctive dialect, the families of rural workers keep the tradition of work songs alive. They cultivate corn in traditional ways and come together in a joint effort throughout all stages of cultivation, including pounding the corn. Each step in the process has songs, rhythms, and festivities that emerge to manage and brighten the work process.
Nhakpoti / Star Girl (dirs. Pat-i Kayapó, Paul Chilsen, 2023)
Mêbêngôkre-Kayapó youth and elders reenact the story of how agriculture was brought from the heavens to their community. The Mêbêngôkre-Kayapó people live along the Xingu River in northwest Brazil, amid more than 27 million acres of rainforest. The film is the first narrative video project by the community of A’Ukre, created in collaboration with elders and the Mêbêngôkre filmmaking collective.
The Smithsonian’s Mother Tongue Film Festival celebrates cultural and linguistic diversity by showcasing films and filmmakers from around the world, highlighting the crucial role languages play in our daily lives.
The festival is a public program of Recovering Voices, a collaboration between Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, the National Museum of the American Indian, the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, and the Asian Pacific American Center.
American Indian Museum, Natural History Museum, Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage