(Above [L-R]: Leonor Varell as the mother of 11-year-old Chava [played by Carlos Padilla])
Powerful (if preachy at times) account of Salvadoran civil war
Director: Luis Mandoki
Cinematography: Juan Ruiz Anchía
Starring: Carlos Padilla, Leonor Varela
Studio info: Slowhand Cinema Releasing, 110 minutes
Luis Mandoki’s Innocent Voices isn’t afraid to bring troubling subject matter to light. The movie—which depicts disturbing violence involving children—is reminiscent of City of God, though it lacks Meirelles’ distinctive visual style. A powerful account of the civil war that rocked El Salvador during the 1980s, Innocent Voices is based on the experiences of screenwriter Oscar Orlando Torres. The film does an admirable job of capturing both the typical insecurities and emotions of an 11-year-old boy and also his confusion and terror at the prospect of being drafted to fight in the conflicts tearing his town apart. Despite a few manipulative, preachy moments, Innocent Voices delivers a story that deserves careful attention and that—once seen—is not easily forgotten.