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Documentary about The Bleek & Lloyd Archive, the written record of the language of the /Xam, the original inhabitants of northern South Africa. The 150 notebooks with /Xam and the English translation beside it were rediscovered around 1990 and are now part of The Unesco Memory of the World. The German scientist Wilhelm Bleek and his sister-in-law Emily Lloyd recorded a language full of dental clicks that was unknown to them. It was the time of Darwin and Bleek figured he could get closer to the origin of man through an ancient language. In a self-invented script, he recorded the words, but also the stories that were passed on from generation to generation. The Broken String shows how Bleek and Lloyd registered the language by taking a 55-year-old prisoner in their house. The /Xam culture is also addressed, as well as the way the Boers committed genocide on them. Today, the Bleek & Lloyd Archive is a source of inspiration for poets and scientists alike, and at the same time refers to an early painful period in the South African history.


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Title: The Broken String - Het verhaal van een verloren taal
Year: 2010
Duration : 52 minutes
Category: Short Documentary
Edition: NFF 2010

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