The Tailenders | Chicago Reader

The Tailenders

From its humble beginnings in Depression-era Los Angeles, Gospel Recordings has developed into a worldwide evangelical operation—Global Recordings Network—that distributes cassette tapes of scripture readings and hand-cranked players to remote third-world cultures; with its library of recordings in more than 5,000 languages and dialects, it also preserves some tongues that would otherwise be lost forever. This video documentary by Adele Horne is rather drily presented, but it's also uncommonly thoughtful, examining the complex interrelationship between Protestant values, machine culture, and modern imperialism. Horne's murmuring voice-over can be lamentably didactic, but given the unsophisticated villagers' fascination with technology, it's fair to ask whether they convert to Christianity in pursuit of eternal life or a luxury car. 72 min.

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