Official selection of the 2011 Full Frame Documentary Film Festival.
Directed by Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Sam Green, THE UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE traces the history of Esperanto, an artificial language that was created in the late 1800s by a Polish eye doctor who believed that if everyone in the world spoke a common tongue, humanity could overcome racism and war. Today, a vibrant Esperanto movement still exists. In this first-ever documentary about the language, Green creates a portrait of Esperanto and those who speak it today that is at once humorous, poignant, stirring and ultimately hopeful.
- Awards & Accolades
- Best Documentary: Short Subject Ashland Independent Film Festival 2012
Reviews(see the best reviews)
VERY GOOD DOCUMENTARY. INFORMATIVE, WELL PACED, WITH A SOUL. VIVA ESPERANTO!!
As Arika Okrent notes, and this doc underscores, one does not need to fully realize ones dream to accomplish something impressive.
interesting film about a fascinating chapter in linguistic and social/political history: the construction of a new language intended to be international which is still spoken today although English is the clear international lingua franca. The diversity of speakers in terms of age and youth was surprising.
The still doesn't lie: this is a a nice film about a nice subject, filled with nice people. One can't expect too much dramatic tension with this topic; we know Esperanto didn't win, or the film would have been narrated in it. There is plenty of the spoken language to hear, however, probably the film's strongest point. I'd have liked to hear more about the principles on which Esperanto was constructed, that is, just how good a job its creator did, and what we've learned from this nearly unique experiment. At least we know that Esperanto can accomodate forms of communication other than high-minded international pen-pallery: though too nice to prove it, the interviewees swear that Esperanto can swear, and William Shatner (appearing in a clip from an all-Esperanto feature film) is just as hammy as he is in English.