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FEATURE DOCUMENTARY

Enter the universe of Theo Brode who, like so many in Louisiana, chose to learn, speak, and preserve the language of their Cajun, Creoles and other French ancestors. Theo’s Choice is a documentary about French language in Southwest Louisiana and the struggle to preserve an endangered heritage in the United States. Once the official language in Louisiana, French almost disappeared in the mid-20th century due to Americanization and its all-powerful English. The decline of French was symbolized by children being physically punished at schools for speaking French. If education almost killed French in Louisiana, it has, more recently, been at the origins of a revival. If Cajuns and Creoles used to be ashamed of their heritage, speaking French is now a source of pride.

Thanks to school programs of immersion in which children learn essentially in French, it may now be possible to save the long heritage of Cajuns, Creoles, and other French-speaking groups. If Americanization almost killed French in Louisiana, international groups of francophone could revive the flame. In addition to Theo, hundreds of teachers coming from France, Quebec, Belgium, Senegal and others French horizons have, since the 1970s, helped to teach and preserve French in Louisiana. Those encounters between children, parents, teachers, and activists from different worlds make French education in Louisiana a real laboratory for mind-opening and what could bi-lingual America be.

However, the documentary also shows how French immersion programs are still fragile and depend tremendously on local politics. In a state where the public-school system obtains some of the worst results in the United States, the permanence of French.

French with English subtitles.
Mi KL, Thomas Cauvin
Mi KL, Thomas Cauvin
Mi KL, Thomas Cauvin
2018
51 Minutes
U.S.A.
Watch the Trailer
premiere v3
contributing v6
2018 international sponsors