Ernesto Contreras On Creating an Indigenous Language for Sundance Winner ‘Sueño en Otro Idioma’

Spoken or otherwise, human beings exchange messages that range from practical to profound, but when the ability to express our curiosities, concerns, and desires is threatened by the lack of someone who can understand our words, that result is isolation. Imagine if only one other person in the world could fully comprehend what you need to say?

Inspired by a news article about the last two speakers of the Zoque language in Tabasco, Mexico, who wouldn’t talk to each other because of an old disagreement, Ernesto Contreras’ third narrative feature Sueño en otro idioma (I Dream in Another Language) uses that premise to dissect what the extinction of a particular worldview represents beyond mere communication.

“It was an opportunity to speak not only about language but about a loss of a identity, we don’t realize when it happens in terms of culture, knowledge, roots, traditions, etc,” explained the director who premiered the movie at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival accompanied by his collaborators on the project. His brother, Carlos Contreras, was once again the scribe behind a powerful screenplay, just as in Ernesto’s previous works: Blue Eyelids and The Obscure Spring.

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