Title: A groussa namou (Our Language)
A documentary on the Tsakonian dialect of Elizabeth Laloudaki and Massimo Pizzocaro
Release date: 2013
In Eastern Peloponnese, in a remote region in the shadow of Mt Parnon, live the Tsakonians, a stubborn group of native Greeks.
For 3,000 years now, they have been speaking an ancient dialect, the only surviving representative of the Doric language.
They never abandoned it, not even when the Attic-based Koine (from which Modern Greek derives) became the first common dialect of all Greeks and the lingua franca of the entire Mediterranean.
Having survived for a great many centuries, the Tsakonian dialect entered a period of neglect in the 1960s, and may currently be approaching its end.
The national language was imposed through compulsory schooling, roads were opened for the first time, tourists began to arrive, many locals emigrated or took to the sea.
Now the time has come to face a simple truth: when you lose your language, you lose your world.
Tsakonian is not unique in this respect. According to the UN, half of the languages spoken today face the same threat of extinction and oblivion.
This movie is about the loss of identity: what it means to know that your language will have vanished in a hundred yearsĺ time.
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