Private Project

Mother Tongue

Mother Tongue is a linguistic journey down the Danube River exploring the intersections and boundaries of identity, place and time.
The film explores attitudes towards neighbors, outsiders and borders within the Danube River Basin - from its German headwaters to its Romanian and Ukrainian delta. Giving voice to the nine major languages spoken along the river, the film encompasses linguistic, anthropological, sociological, and geopolitical dimensions.

  • Ted Efremoff
    The Healing Blues
  • Ted Efremoff
  • Ted Efremoff
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    57 minutes 58 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    August 31, 2017
  • Production Budget:
    15,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    Austria, Bulgaria, Germany, Hungary, Moldova, Republic of, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Ukraine
  • Language:
    Bulgarian, German, Hungarian, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Ukrainian
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Docs without Borders

    United States
Director Biography - Ted Efremoff

Ted Efremoff, born in Moscow, Russia, is a cross-disciplinary artist engaged with film and social practice art. He explores the personal and cultural constraints ingrained within prevailing political, economic, and social power structures.
The purpose of his work is to generate positive social change by challenging ingrained beliefs, questioning fears and rethinking behaviors.

Efremoff's work has been presented in the US and internationally.
Shows include: The Museum of American Art in Philadelphia; Free Speech TV; Gongju National Museum in South Korea; The National Center of Contemporary Art in Moscow, Russia; The National Palace of Culture in Sofia, Bulgaria. His work is in
the collections of the Sound Museum of Rome, The Los Angeles Center for Digital Arts and the Culture House of Bad Sobernheim, Germany.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

The Danube River travels through more countries than any other river in the world. Since 2013 I have been traveling the Danube by a variety of marine transport recording video of the river and audio conversations with locals about neighbors, outsiders and borders in their native languages. In my recordings I have included the major languages spoken along the Danube – German, Slovak, Hungarian, Croatian, Serbian, Bulgarian, Romanian, Ukrainian and Russian.

The river has served as an agent of separation between tribes, ideologies and empires. In its’ flow however it encompasses all of the people of its watershed without discrimination: non-objectively. This non-objectification, in contrast to the specific qualities that make us belong to a group or excluded from it, is part of the Mother Tongue story.