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by Alastair Cole


A beautiful, inspiring and bittersweet documentary film about language and childhood in Africa. Steward, Elizabeth and M'barak are three first time school pupils in rural Zambia who struggle to make sense of an educational system where the language they speak at home is different from the language used in the classroom. Moments of perplexed incomprehension, both comedic and tragic ensue, as the children slowly come to terms with the fact that their tongue is no longer their own. At a time when nearly 40% of the world's population lack access to education in their own language, Colours of the Alphabet offers an intimate and moving insight into a global phenomenon from the unique perspective of three innocent children.

original title: Colours of the Alphabet
country: United Kingdom, New Zealand, Zambia
year: 2016
genre: documentary
directed by: Alastair Cole
film run: 80'
film editing: Nick Gibbon, Colin Monie
music: Victoria Wijeratne
producer: Alastair Cole, Nick Higgins
production: Lansdowne Productions, Tongue Tied Films
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