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The Tailenders

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Global Recordings Network (GRN), founded in Los Angeles in 1939, has produced audio versions of Bible stories in over 5,500 languages, and aims to record in every language on earth. They distribute the recordings, along with ultra-low-tech hand-wind players, in isolated regions and among displaced migrant workers. The Bible stories played by the missionaries are sometimes the first encounter community members have had with recorded sound, and, even more frequently, the first time they have heard their own language recorded. GRN calls their target audience "the tailenders" because they are the last to be reached by worldwide evangelism. Filmed in the Solomon Islands, Mexico, India and the United States, The Tailenders focuses on the intersection of missionary activity and global capitalism and raises questions about how meaning, carried by the simple sound of a human voice, changes as it crosses language and culture.