Found in: Afrika Eye
Colours of the Alphabet

Colours of the Alphabet Sold Out

classified 12A S

Afrika Eye 2016


Please note: This was screened in Nov 2016

Alastair Cole
80 mins, Subtitled, 2016, New Zealand | UK | Zambia

An intimate, bittersweet documentary that asks why 40% of the world’s children don’t have access to education in their mother tongue and why is it that life always seems to have to be understood in English? It explores language, communication and national identity as it follows three children in one rural Zambian classroom over 9 months.

In the most basic of rural classrooms in Zambia, the children speak several mutually incomprehensible languages, the teacher another - and together they must embrace the country’s official language - English. Underlying this delicately intimate observation, Scotland-based director Alastair Cole highlights the fact that 40 % of the world’s children do not have access to education in their mother tongue. With multi-coloured subtitles to distinguish between the languages spoken, this amusing and moving portrayal of schooling in another culture points up a global predicament and asks what are the consequences of educating a multi-lingual, multi-cultural population in a foreign tongue?

Followed by Q&A with Director Alastair Cole.