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Based on the true story of screenwriter Oscar Torres's embattled childhood in 1980's El Salvador, Innocent Voices is the poignant tale of Chava, an eleven-year-old boy. Chava suddenly becomes the "man of the house" in a time when the government's army is forcibly recruiting twelve year olds to battle against the peasant rebels of the FMLN. It is a story of life, love, the hope of peace, and the ennobling power of the human spirit.
Innocent Voices is a raw, powerful portrait of childhood spent in a war zone. The images are harrowing... And the emotion feels
real. Padilla's earnest, natural presence lends an almost documentary-style realism to Chava's plight. --Associated Press
It is at once intimate and epic. --Hollywood Reporter
We applaud the director, Luis Mandoki, for shining a light on the plight of children during wartime. --UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman
Top Customer Reviews
I'll not repeat the summary of the film that others have posted here. It's the film's impact that reflects so well on the power of this medium.
After the closing credits ran, there was total silence in the auditorium, broken only by the soft sound of sobbing all around. And then you realized you were among those in tears. I haven't seen such a reaction to a film since "Schindler's List." It is hard to describe the emotional impact of this often funny, but ultimately very moving semi-autobiographical film. It's a shame you can't see in the theaters any more, but I strongly recommend seeing "Innocent Voices" on DVD with a loved one with whom you can share a healthy cry at the end. You will be changed.
The gifted young actor who plays Chava blends a mixture of horror and wonder to illustrate the traumatizing effects of war on his simple, humble life. He plays with his friends, courts a nice girl, and is constantly stressing his mother by wandering away in the middle of military invasions. Tension reigns as a quiet dinner can be interrupted by gunshots cracking and bullets smashing through windows, forcing Chava and his family to lay flat under beds to avoid being blown apart. One touching scene occurs when an uncle (from the guerilla resistance) visits and warfare breaks out just beyond their porch step. The uncle calms the terrified family by strumming a soothing tune on his guitar while laying on his back, shrapnel whining overhead in a disturbing cacophony.
There are many memorable scenes. A priest tries to maintain his integrity as acts of immorality threaten to overwhelm him. A delayed man with the mind of a child commits an act of bravery that earns a brutal punishment later. Kids run around playing hide-and-seek and then find the game taking a traumatic turn as they flee from rampaging soldiers who want to recruit them. Chava is nearly snared by death many times as he ventures into harm's path in a way that suggests he has lived in a battleground far too long.
He shows a rebellious spirit by playing a "banned" radio song in front of lounging soldiers when he is angry at them.Read more ›
Under age Salvadorean kids are forced to join the army; so they have to hide from the soldiers, in this case a kid have to be the man of the house after his father leaves the family and moves to the USA to help his family, he is told that the army is trained by the US forces and his uncle is a "guerrillero" the movie is about his survival in a small town where the daily attacks by the army takes place.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It was so sad, and depressing. But fully captured the true story (it was directed by the one it happened to) Warning, it has graphic content and much violence.Published 4 months ago by Renfield8
This DVD is in a Spanish dialect with English subtitles - and I liked this because it was part of that culture. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Gary W. Phelps
How did the Academy not accept this movie to compete for their Best Foreign Film selection?
It's one of those great movies about children dealing with the harsh reality and... Read more
Innocent Voices will leave you speechless and with the realization of the true horrors of war. Born and growing up in the United States, one cannot truly imagine what it is like to... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Amazon Customer
What an amazing, exceptional movie! Let me just say that if this film interests you in any way, DEFINITELY SEE IT. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Mogulmeister
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