Children of Mon Mot is a documentary surrounding an Abui folktale, the Mon Mot Mon, a legendary snake that consumes the inhabitants of an entire village. It unravels the narrative fabric of an Abui myth and the ways in which it connects Abu clans with each other and their land. Recounted by four interviewees, the folktale comes to life as part of history and genealogy, revealing dark messages of foreboding.It also unravels the narrative fabric of an Abui myth and the ways in which it connects Abu clans with each other and with their land. The film is shot entirely with DSLR and camcorder and consists of four sets of interviews edited with footage of Abui lifestyle and customs. By contextualizing the folktale of Mon Mot Mon into the film medium, this documentary pays homage to the language of the Abui people, allowing them to tell the story the way they want to, staying true to the act of the spoken tale passed down through generations.
This short film reveals the process of collaboration and adds a face and voice to the names of the people behind this project. They include the local communities, linguistics, heritage scientists, knowledge facilitators, designers, artists and their teams of students. Academics included in the film are Alexander Coupe, Ng Bee Chin, Francesco Cavallaro, František Kratochvíl, Galina Mihaleva, Marijke van Kets, Joan Marie Kelly and Hedren Sum.
The legend of Mon Mot tells the tale of a clan that survived a disaster. One day Mon Mot the Giant Snake attacked a village. Only one pregnant woman escaped and hid in a cave. She raised her twin sons, who grew up and prepared a trap to kill the Snake. After Mon Mot died, their dead relatives miraculously returned.”
As recounted by Anderlas Padafani from the Abui tribe, the folktale is retold in a form of a children storybook with two languages: Abui and English.