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Innocent Voices

4.6 out of 5 stars 104 customer reviews

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(Apr 08, 2008)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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.

Review

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

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Daniel Jiménez Cacho, Ofelia Medina, Guillermo Rios, Victor (Kino) Gonzalez, Jésus Ochoa
  • Directors: Luis Mandoki
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Spanish
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: LIGHTYEAR VIDEO
  • DVD Release Date: April 8, 2008
  • Run Time: 110 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (104 customer reviews)
  • Domestic Shipping: Currently, item can be shipped only within the U.S. and to APO/FPO addresses. For APO/FPO shipments, please check with the manufacturer regarding warranty and support issues.
  • International Shipping: This item is not eligible for international shipping. Learn More
  • ASIN: B000WC38IC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #52,320 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Innocent Voices" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
"Innocent Voices" is one of those films that simply blows you away with its incredibly moving story, great acting, directing, and cinematography. I had the privilege of seeing this film at Talk Cinema, where you see films in theaters on Saturday or Sunday morning weeks or months before they are released -- so there are no reviews to hinder your pure enjoyment of the film. We walk into the movie theater with no idea what we're going to see that morning. The 400 film fans in the theater that sunny September 2005 morning had no idea what to expect from this "Innocent Voices" film which, sadly, got virtually no theatrical distribution in Chicagoland.

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.
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Format: DVD
"We here are all scared of turning twelve," explains Chava, "because that's when the army takes you. I have one year left." Innocent Voices takes place in El Salvador's civil war that raged from 1980-1992, but it could have been set in any of the dozens of countries around the world where governments and "liberation" armies recruit child soldiers. In El Salvador, the authoritarian government, with a billion dollars of aid and training from the United States ("They're training our soldiers to kill us."), forcibly conscripted young boys to fight its civil war against the FMLN. Since his father left for the US, eleven-year-old Chava is the "man of the house." The film revolves around the plight of his extended family. Chava follows his Uncle Beto and sides with the rebels, but his mother Kella observes that they, too, conscript their kids. Innocent Voices reinforces the truth that in all modern wars, the biggest losers by far are innocent civilians. Co-writer Oscar Orlando Torres based this award-winning film on his own memoirs. In Spanish, with English sub-titles.
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Format: DVD
"Innocent Voices" is a film about the harrowing impact of war on a young boy. The simple fact that Chava survives such a grueling childhood is a testimony to the personal courage of Chava himself. Based on a true story, Chava (the eleven year-old protagonist) uses his wits and blind luck to evade being inducted into the Salvadorean army to fight the peasant guerilla rebels.
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 ›
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Format: DVD
The movie is based on a true story, sometimes movies are made like this one, and is it part of our own life....many of us (Salvadorean kids)had to experience this.

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.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I purchased for my Spanish classes. I previewed first. Very raw, real and emotional film. War through the eyes of children. In Spanish(w/subtitle options). There is a lot of gun fire and killings. There is no sex only an inuendo of military men taking teen girls by force for sex. Most PG-13 movies are worse than this for violence...and sex! You will need parent permission slips for the R rating for this film. I have a better understanding of why Central Americans fled their countries, so will your students. I would reserve this movie for upper level Spanish classes.
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