‘Avengers’ Cast Reassembles to Dub 2012 Film in Lakota Language | Video

High-profile members of the cast of 2012’s “The Avengers” reunited recently to record the movie’s dialogue in Lakota, the language spoken by the Lakota people of the Sioux tribes. The effort was spearheaded by activist actor Mark Ruffalo, who produced the 2022 documentary “Lakota Nation vs. United States.”

“This project came out of my relationship with the Lakota people,” Ruffalo explained. “And it was this fun thing that they wanted to do, where they wanted to take ‘The Avengers’ — this crazy idea — let’s do a Lakota dub of ‘The Avengers.’”

The project reunited Ruffalo with Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson and Chris Evans, who each rerecorded their character’s dialogue alongside Lakota actors who recorded dialogue for lower-profile characters.

“I’ve been hearing about the work they’ve been doing to revitalize the language,” Ruffalo continued. “You know, there’s not a lot of people left who could speak it.”

Lakota is one of the most widely spoken Indigenous American languages, with approximately 2,000 speakers. The crusade to maintain and teach the Lakota language has been fiercely fought. Throughout the late 19th and early 20th century, federal policy forcibly removed many indigenous children from their homes, which resulted in a loss of language and culture. Many children were forced to go to boarding schools, which is directly related to the extinction of several indigenous languages in the United States and Canada.

The 2022 Ruffalo-produced documentary is about the Lakota nation’s reclamation of the Black Hills in South Dakota and Wyoming. The United States seized the land following its loss in the Battle of Bighorn in 1876 and subsequently hunted buffalo to near extinction, forced children into boarding schools and carved the faces of four presidents into “Mount Rushmore” — the sacred mountain known to native people as Tunkasila Sakpe Paha, or Six Grandfathers Mountain.

Watch Ruffalo discuss the project and see clips from the recording sessions in the video at the top of this story.

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