'Innocent Voices' Movie Depicts El Salvador Horror, Creationist Censorship Hits IMAX Theaters

Innocent Voices movie El Salvador bloody civil war'Innocent Voices' movie: El Salvador bloody civil war.

'Innocent Voices' movie: El Salvador civil war horror through the eyes of one of its young victims

The power of writer-director Luis Mandoki's Mexican drama Innocent Voices / Voces inocentes lies in its unsparing depiction of the lives of children, women, and men during El Salvador's bloody civil war in the 1980s. From a narrative standpoint, however, Mandoki relies a little too much on melodramatic close-ups and cute pre-teen shenanigans that detract from his film's harrowing core.

Based on the life of co-screenwriter (and Los Angeles-based actor) Óscar Torres, Innocent Voices tells the story of a young boy, Chava (Carlos Padilla), who must decide between the lesser of two monstrous evils: the local leftist guerrillas and the U.S.-sponsored right-wing army.

As Mandoki and Torres make clear, it's a no-win situation – not only for Chava, but for just about everybody else in El Salvador.

75,000 dead

El Salvador's civil war raged from 1980 to 1992 – during the governments of U.S. Republican presidents Ronald Reagan and George Bush. The Democratic administration of their predecessor, Jimmy Carter, had also helped to finance the bloodthirsty Salvadoran military.

Approximately 75,000 people died during that conflict, while hundreds of thousands fled to other countries, chiefly the United States.

Best Foreign Language Film Oscar entry

Mexico's submission for the 2005 Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award, Innocent Voices failed to be shortlisted by the Academy. Mandoki's film did, however, receive ten nominations for the Mexican Academy's Ariel Awards, winning three statuettes, including a Best Supporting Actress Ariel for Ofelia Medina.*

Besides, it received the National Board of Review's Freedom of Expression Award.

Innocent Voices / Voces inocentes (2004).
Dir.: Luis Mandoki.
Scr.: Luis Mandoki and Óscar Torres. Inspired by Torres' real-life experiences.
Cast: Carlos Padilla. Leonor Varela. Ofelia Medina. Gustavo Muñoz. Daniel Giménez Cacho. José María Yazpik. Jesús Ochoa.

Mexican accents, Quentin Tarantino producer

* The principals in Innocent Voices are mostly Mexican, which has led to complaints that their accents are all wrong.

Also worth noting, Innocent Voices was produced by Lawrence Bender, whose credits include several Quentin Tarantino movies, including Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, and Jackie Brown.

Innocent Voices movie photo: Lionsgate.

Innocent Voices cast information via the IMDb.

Volcanoes of the Deep Sea Nature documentary irks radical Christians'Volcanoes of the Deep Sea': Nature documentary irks radical Christians.

Creationist censorship hits IMAX theaters in American South: 'Volcanoes of the Deep Sea' vs. radical Christians

IMAX theaters in several cities in Texas, Georgia, and North and South Carolina have decided not to screen Stephen Low's nature documentary Volcanoes of the Deep Sea because of its references to evolution may offend Fundamentalist Christians and assorted believers in the widely derided faux science known as “creationism.”

Narrated by four-time Oscar nominee Ed Harris,* the documentary short follows two scientists searching for an elusive 50-million-year-old creature along the 12,000-foot-deep (3,650-meter-deep) mid-Atlantic ridge.

Written by Stephen and Alex Low, the narration for Volcanoes of the Deep Sea commits the cardinal sin of making a connection between human DNA and microbes inside undersea volcanoes.

It's unclear whether the owners of these same IMAX theaters would refrain from showing a “documentary” preaching creationism for fear of offending those who take scientific studies seriously.

Stephen Low movies

Among the Ottawa-born Stephen Low's other films are the following:

  • Super Speedway (2000).
  • Mark Twain's America in 3D (1998).
  • Across the Sea of Time (1995).
  • Titanica (1995).
  • Flight of the Aquanaut (1993).
  • The Last Buffalo (1990).

Ed Harris Oscar nominations

* Ed Harris' Academy Award nominations, three of which in the Best Supporting Actor category, were for:

Volcanoes of the Deep Sea image: Image Entertainment.

Stephen Low movies' info via the IMDb.

'Innocent Voices' Movie Depicts El Salvador Horror, Creationist Censorship Hits IMAX Theaters © 2004–2018 Alt Film Guide and/or author(s).
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