Mother Tongue Film Festival: Finding Balance – Bridging Worlds

Friday, February 23, 2024 | 7:00 p.m.

$0 | Friedman Family Auditorium

Planet Word is proud to host the Smithsonian Institution’s Mother Tongue Film Festival celebrating cultural and linguistic diversity by showcasing films and filmmakers from around the world, highlighting the crucial role languages play in our daily lives.

This year’s theme is Finding Balance. Where and how do we find balance? To create balance is to connect the many branches of our existence, and to connect is to reach an enduring harmony. In 2024, the Mother Tongue Film Festival will showcase films that record personal journeys and explore the drive to find balance and harmony within our world, communities, families, and selves.

In this program, two films intersect at the crossroads of love and resistance. Aikāne and Y SŴN illustrate the spiritual connections that can be formed and the cultural ties that can be broken in the fight against political repression. Though artistically varied, both display the transformative power of commitment, be it to a person or a cause, iterating the fight for identity as a universal narrative. Join this evening screening, followed by a Q&A, and celebrate the indomitable spirit of humanity in its many facets.

(Directors) Daniel Sousa, Dean Hamer, Joe Wilson // Hawai’i // (Language) None (silent), 2023, 14 min., Animation
A valiant island warrior, wounded in battle against foreign invaders, falls into a mysterious underwater world. Everything changes when the octopus who rescues him transforms into a handsome young man. (Runtime 14 mins)

Lee Haven Jones // Swansea and Penarth, Wales // (Languages) Welsh, English // 2023, 89 min., Drama
British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher swept to power in 1979 with a manifesto that promised to establish a Welsh-language television channel. Months into her premiership, she reneged on her promise and sparked protests in Wales. Against a backdrop of civil disobedience, the iconic politician Gwynfor Evans vows to starve to death unless the government changes course. In Y SŴN, one of the most colorful chapters of modern Welsh history is told in an imaginative and unique style. (Runtime 89 minutes)