You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Inside Move: Speaking in tongues

Another dead language comes to life onscreen

If Mel Gibson thinks he’s had the last word on movies in dead languages with his Latin- and Aramaic-lingo “The Passion of Christ,” he’s wrong.

In France, author and filmmaker Philippe Carrese has penned and directed “Malaterra” (Cursed Earth), the first-ever film in the medieval Oc language — with the help, bien sur, of a translator.

Languages don’t come much more obscure.

Even in its heyday, Oc was confined to southern France and a small part of bordering Italy. Though songs and poetry have lived on, as a spoken language, it fell out of use 100 years ago.

While controversy surrounds Mel’s yet-to-be-released “Passion,” “Malaterra,” a potboiler set in a remote Provencal village, has won only praise.

The made-for-TV movie received a standing ovation at its subtitled bigscreen premiere in Marseilles recently. It was also a ratings hit when it was aired by pubcaster France 3 Mediterranee on New Year’s Eve. During the show, the pubcaster’s audience share doubled from 7% to 16%.

Carrese, who recalls his grandparents speaking Oc, hopes “Malaterra” will also get released theatrically.

“Even if you don’t understand Oc, it is lovely to listen to. This film is a way of keeping it alive,” says Carrese.

More Film

  • Richard Greenberg Dead: Title Designer Was

    Richard Greenberg, Title Designer of 'Superman' and 'The Matrix,' Dies at 71

    If Mel Gibson thinks he’s had the last word on movies in dead languages with his Latin- and Aramaic-lingo “The Passion of Christ,” he’s wrong. In France, author and filmmaker Philippe Carrese has penned and directed “Malaterra” (Cursed Earth), the first-ever film in the medieval Oc language — with the help, bien sur, of a […]

  • Set del film "Loro" di Paolo

    Film Review: 'Loro 2'

    If Mel Gibson thinks he’s had the last word on movies in dead languages with his Latin- and Aramaic-lingo “The Passion of Christ,” he’s wrong. In France, author and filmmaker Philippe Carrese has penned and directed “Malaterra” (Cursed Earth), the first-ever film in the medieval Oc language — with the help, bien sur, of a […]

  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Reboot

    Paramount Developing Third 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' Movie

    If Mel Gibson thinks he’s had the last word on movies in dead languages with his Latin- and Aramaic-lingo “The Passion of Christ,” he’s wrong. In France, author and filmmaker Philippe Carrese has penned and directed “Malaterra” (Cursed Earth), the first-ever film in the medieval Oc language — with the help, bien sur, of a […]

  • Jamie Bell Bernie Taupin

    Jamie Bell in Talks to Play Bernie Taupin in Elton John Biopic 'Rocketman' (EXCLUSIVE)

    If Mel Gibson thinks he’s had the last word on movies in dead languages with his Latin- and Aramaic-lingo “The Passion of Christ,” he’s wrong. In France, author and filmmaker Philippe Carrese has penned and directed “Malaterra” (Cursed Earth), the first-ever film in the medieval Oc language — with the help, bien sur, of a […]

  • Ben Robson

    'Animal Kingdom' Star Ben Robson Joins Civil War Drama 'Emperor'

    If Mel Gibson thinks he’s had the last word on movies in dead languages with his Latin- and Aramaic-lingo “The Passion of Christ,” he’s wrong. In France, author and filmmaker Philippe Carrese has penned and directed “Malaterra” (Cursed Earth), the first-ever film in the medieval Oc language — with the help, bien sur, of a […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content