As co-directed by documentarians Linda Goldstein Knowlton and Linda Hawkins Costigan, the film The World According to Sesame Street probes the global phenomenon of adapting the seminal children's program Sesame Street to various local cultures. The Sesame Workshop (the program's parent company) has done so not only by varying the language but by adapting the characters and themes to suit indigenous cultural and political climates. Thus, Muppet characters in South Africa discuss HIV and AIDS, Bangladeshi Muppets discuss child labor, and Muppets in Kosovo address the divided cultural and political climate of that nation. And the characters include not only the Cookie Monster, Oscar and Big Bird familiar to Americans, but a Zulu Muppet called Kami (in South Africa), a Bangladeshi Muppet called Tutuki (in Dhaka) and many others. The World According to Sesame Street ventures behind the scenes of many of these regional productions to explore the obstacles, struggles, and infinite rewards associated with making Sesame Street a multicultural endeavor. In so doing, it underscores the need for education shared by children on every continent.
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