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Poto and Cabengo (1980)

7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 222 users  
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Two young twins in the USA have invented their own shared language. Scientists are wanting to study the language but social workers are trying to get the twins to leave their secret ... See full summary »

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Title: Poto and Cabengo (1980)

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Two young twins in the USA have invented their own shared language. Scientists are wanting to study the language but social workers are trying to get the twins to leave their secret language world and enter the mainstream. This means forcing them to speak normal English and lose their secret language. The filmmaker's own questions about this process run across as text at the bottom of the screen, a first use of that technique in documentary. Written by Gillian Leahy

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25 March 1980 (USA)  »

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Referenced in The Apple (1998) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Mean spirited?
1 May 2006 | by (Mars) – See all my reviews

I don't really see how the previous reviewer came up with that one! Doesn't the film-maker show us that it's the aforementioned society that's mean spirited?

The film's a poignant, haunting critique of a world that doesn't allow its citizens any real individuality, doesn't allow people to sit on the outside in any way. Conform or be conformed? That is the ultimatum.

The scene when the school children had to pledge allegiance to the USA-ian flag disgusted me beyond belief. Seeing that made me so glad to have grown-up in a country that doesn't instill that kind of unconstructive nationalism in it's people at such a young age.

It's fascinating to see/hear the twins talking in their invented language, it's mythical, it's beautiful. But the way in which their exclusive communication is destroyed by institutionalised science and education is heartbreaking. The tragic events that occur throughout the making of this film contain so much truth about the state induced uniformity of the modern world, the affects of cultural displacement on it's people, the vulture-like behaviour of the media and ultimately, the complete and utter failure of the USA-ian dream. It's absolutely spot-on.

It's an extraordinarily sad tale, but one I highly recommend seeing if you can. Also, check out Gorin's equally relevant documentary from the 80s. "Routine Pleasures"


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