A Whisper to a Roar - Chinese Subtitles
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(Feb 24, 2014)
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A WHISPER TO A ROAR (Chinese Subtitles) spotlights the perilous plight of pro-democracy activists in five countries as they mobilize against authoritarian governments that have been very wrong, in some cases for a very long time.
With remarkably serendipitous timing, the film coincides with a new wave of democratic movements sweeping the globe, focusing on the struggles for democracy in Egypt, Malaysia, Ukraine, Venezuela and Zimbabwe.
By turns shocking , enraging and inspiring, it tracks the courageous efforts of pro-democracy leaders and protesters, highlights past and present abuses of power by authoritarian regimes, and in some cases offers a front-row seat to history-forging revolutions the filmmakers had no idea would erupt mid-production.
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So if you watch it already prepared for a heavy dose of realism, you may like this film. I do kinda wish they'd presented a little more detail about the history of the 5 countries, but that would probably have made it overly-long. In general I've found movies with a tighter focus [The Island President would be an example] to be more interesting as they can take the time to include more of the history and background.
The version I got played just fine on my North American-standard set, and had English subtitles when the speakers were speaking in their native languages. In fact I think it had a unique twist that I haven't seen before: if I recall correctly it is a semi-region-independent DVD. That is, any region's DVD player will play it, but if you switch regions 5 times in playbacks, it won't switch again. There are some extended interviews on the DVD; I didn't have time to view those yet [and I will]. Periodically quotes are included; my favorite two were the first, from Abraham Lincoln: If you want to learn about a man's character, give him power [or words to that effect] and the other was from Voltaire: "It's dangerous to be right, when your government is wrong."
In fact the DVD was in a number of foreign languages with English included occasionally. In the Product Description no language was included. I ordered another copy, making sure that this time it was in English, and that Product Description stated that the language was English. The review with the foreign version on Amazon was in English and the two reviews quoted: by Hilary Clinton and the NY Times, were also in English. I was shocked to receive the DVD with everything on the cover and on the DVD in a foreign language.
I think that Amazon needs to make it clear what the Malaysian Subtitles edition is.
I can't be sure whether the two other editions were presented when I queried "A Whisper to a Roar", but if they were, I didn't see them the first time I brought up the title.
The gentle beginning is disarming and brilliant. A parable reminds us of what we have long known: a hero becomes a dictator when power is absolute. We know it, but when we see it evolve in the film, we feel the truth of it and the warning that it is a truth we must never forget.
Writer/director Ben Moses has once again found a powerful way to reveal the human side of history. I will watch it again and recommend that you do, as well.
A great history lesson we should all have.