Ted Efremoff (US)
Since 2013 I have been traveling the 2,860 kilometers of the Danube each summer by a variety of marine transport recording video of the river and audio of conversations in the mother tongue of local inhabitants. In my recordings I have included the major languages spoken along the Danube – German, Slovak, Hungarian, Croatian, Serbian, Bulgarian, Romanian, Ukrainian and Russian. The Danube travels through more countries than any other river in the world. It has served as an agent of separation between tribes, ideologies and empires. In its’ flow however it encompasses all of the people of its watershed without discrimination: non-objectively. This non-objectification, in contrast to the specific qualities that make us belong to a group or excluded from it is part of the Mother Tongue story.
Mother Tongue / 80 minute film
Mother Tongue is a linguistic journey down the Danube River exploring the intersections and boundaries of identity, place and time. The film explores attitudes towards neighbors, outsiders and borders within the Danube River Basin - from its German headwaters to its Romanian and Ukrainian delta. Giving voice to the nine major languages spoken along the river, the film encompasses linguistic, anthropological, sociological, and geopolitical dimensions.