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Weekend Passport: Indigenous Alaskans Try To Save Their Language

Like many indigenous languages of North America, Alaska’s Alutiiq was marginalized almost out of existence.

When Chicago film editor Karen Weinberg went to Kodiak Island in 2012 to teach a weeklong seminar on film production, she was floored by how large the struggle to save Alutiiq was. In her directorial debut, Weinberg spent five years creating Keep Talking, a documentary about Alutiiqs’ effort to reverse years of language erasure. Only 40 elders still know the language, but an enthusiastic young generation is doing their best to learn and preserve it — with a lot of surprises along the way.

Weinberg joins Worldview to discuss the film which debuts in Chicago Friday night at the Gene Siskel Film Center, and encores on Thursday, Jan. 11. Alisha Drabek, a subject of the film and native Alutiiq speaker, joins the conversation on Worldview and in person after tonight’s film screening.

We’ll also share other suggestions to have an international good time in Chicago this weekend.

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