Colours of the Alphabet (2016)
Director and Camera: Alastair Cole
Producer: Nick Higgins
Editors: Colin Monie and Nick Gibbon
Music: Vitoria Wijeratne
Length: 80 and 59 minutes
Countries of production: UK / NZ
Production Companies: Lansdowne Productions, Scotland and Tongue Tied Films NZ.
Langauges: Soli, Nyanja, Bemba, English
Subtitles available in:
80min version: English, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, French, German, Polish, Turkish, Sardinian
59min version: English, French, Portuguese, Akan, Amharic, Bemba, English, Ewe, Fula, French, Hausa, Igbo, Kikuyyu, Kinyarwanda, Lingala, Lozi, Luganda, Luo, Magalasy, Moore, Nyanja, Oshiwambo, Portuguese, Tswana, Shona, Soli, Swahili, Tigrinya, Tsonga, Tswana, Wolof, Xhosa, Yoruba, Zulu.
Colours of the Alphabet tells the story of three Zambian children and their families over two school terms, and asks the question: does the future have to be in English?
A lyrical, beautifully-filmed documentary which spends 9 months in a Zambian village grade one class – from the rains of January till the cold of August – as the children, and their parents, come to terms with the often bemusing reality of education in their country. A country where there are 72 ethnic languages spoken, however, you are told that to get ahead means understanding the world in the country’s only official language – English. Despite less than 2% of Zambians using the language in their daily lives.
An inspiring, bittersweet documentary about childhood innocence, language and national identity, with multi-coloured subtitles reflecting the different languages being spoken
‘poignant, touching and very amusing’ **** Across the Arts – – read full review here
“lyrical, beautifully filmed…an inspiring, bittersweet documentary about language, communication and national identity” Glasgow Film Festival
For a full list of upcoming and previous screenings please see the film’s website here
Please contact us for more information or screening requests.
Developed with the support of Creative Scotland Film and TV Fund, Scottish Documentary Institute’s INTERDOC Documentary Feature Development program, and EDN / DocPoint’s Twelve for the Future rough cut development scheme.