The field of interpretation and translation has come a long way and of age. This field of work is now recognised by governments around the world as well as international institutions. The film and video industry has also benefited by using these skills as part of their background production processes. Audio and Visual information materials in certain languages are now finding themselves
across territories with different languages and cultures all together, thanks to interpreters and translators.
The film and video industry has gone further by not only using translators and interpreters in background production processes but producing movies which illustrate the critical role that translators and interpreters continue to play in today’s society. Below are some movies centered around the role of interprets and translators.
- Lost in Translation:
This is the best known movie in this area. Lost in Translationis a 2003 American comedy-drama film written and directed by Sofia Coppola. Strangers in a foreign land, the two find escape, distraction and understanding amidst the bright Tokyo lights after a chance meeting in the quiet lull of the hotel bar. They form a bond that is as unlikely as it is heartfelt and meaningful.
- The Interpreter:
It highlights the dangerous part of interpreting. The Interpreter is a 2005 political thriller film starring Nicole Kidman, Sean Penn, and Catherine Keener. Interpreter Silvia Broome (Nicole Kidman) is at the United Nations when she overhears what she believes is a plan to assassinate the president of Matobo, Edmond Zuwanie (Earl Cameron). When she alerts the authorities, Secret Service agents Tobin Keller (Sean Penn) and Dot Woods (Catherine Keener) are assigned to the case. It’s not long before they decide that Silvia herself is a suspect, having formerly been involved with both a guerrilla group in Matobo and the president’s chief opponent.
- The Woman with the 5 Elephants:
Centered around Svetlana. First her father ends up in one of Stalin’s prison camps, then young Svetlana herself experiences the German invasion. In order to survive she learns German at home in Kiev. She is good and gets work as a translator before ending up in a German camp in 1943.
- Ink heart:
The story begins with Mortimer “Mo” Folchart (Brendan Fraser) and his wife Teresa “Resa” Folchart (Sienna Guillory) reading thefairy tale “Little Red Riding Hood” to their baby daughter Meggie. As Mo reads the story, a red velvet hood appears as a narrator (Roger Allam) explains that people known as “Silver Tongues” are born with the gift that whenever they read a story out loud, the story becomes real.
Mexican immigrant and single mother Flor Moreno (Paz Vega) finds housekeeping work with Deborah (TéaLeoni) and John Clasky (Adam Sandler), a well-off couple with two children of their own. When Flor admits she can’t handle the schedule because of her daughter, Cristina (Shelbie Bruce), Deborah decides they should move into the Clasky home. Cultures clash and tensions run high as Flor and the Claskys struggle to share space while raising their children on their own, and very different, terms.
- Fresh Suicide:
Fresh Suicide is a realistic portrayal of a young Indian translator working with an American journalist, who is doing a photo feature on farmers’ suicides in rural India. In the process of looking out for a recent suicide case, he is sandwiched between his duty and sensitivity. The film portrays the insensitivity of international journalism and the disturbing colonial hangover that still looms over most of rural India.
This is a documentary with translating tells about the journey of words from a language to another. Translators are used to face words, to follow their traces and force them into new spaces. Translators have to master not only a language but also what’s behind it.
- Je l’aimais:
Someone I loved (Je L’Aimais) is based on the best-selling novel by Anna Gavalda. It’s the story of Pierre (Daniel Auteuil), who takes his daughter-in-law, Chloe (Florence Loiret Caille) and two small granddaughters to the family chalet to stay following a family crisis. Pierre’s son, Adrian, has abruptly dumped his wife and children, and Chloe who “never saw it coming” is so emotionally devastated, Pierre thinks it’s wise to take her away somewhere quiet for a few days until she stabilizes.
- El Pasado:
A couple decides to split after 12 years together. The man (Bernal) find it easy to move on, but difficult to prevent his ex from hounding him, or the new women in his life.
An American businessman arrives in a bustling Chinese province looking to score a lucrative contact for his family’s sign-making firm. He soon discovers that the complexities of such a venture far outstrip the expected differences in language, customs and manners—and call into question even the most basic assumptions of human conduct.