KeelepäästjaEine Sprache retten / To Save a Language

Competition Documentaries, Estonia 2020, 74 Min., engl., eston., mandan OV, engl. st

Since 2014, Indrek Park, an Estonian-born linguist, has been working and doing research with members of the Native American Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara tribes living on reservations in North Dakota. His goal is not only to document their native language, but to bring it back to life. But time is not on his side – Edwin Bensen, the last native speaker of Mandan, was 84 years old at the time of filming. The community provided financial support for the expensive research project. But the sale of oil is a key income source for them, and with falling oil prices, continued funding is in question. Even Indrek is considering moving back to Estonia to start a family. This fascinating portrait of a committed scientist also graphically illustrates the challenges facing indigenous communities in the 21st century.

Director Liivo Niglas

Screenplay Liivo Niglas

Producer Kaie-Ene Rääk, Liivo Niglas

Production Company F-Seitse, Koidu 17-1, 10137 Tallinn, Mail:, Web:

Cast Indrek Park, Edwin Benson


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