Artists' Television Access

Voces Inocentes (Innocent Voices)

ANSWER Film Series

Thursday, May 4, 2006, 7:30 pm, $5

Innocent Voices

More than 300,000 children presently serve in armies in over 40 countries

Based on the true story of screenwriter Oscar Torres’s embattled childhood, Luis Mandoki’s Innocent Voices is the poignant tale of Chava (Carlos Padilla), an eleven-year-old boy who suddenly becomes the “man of the house” after his father abandons the family in the middle of a civil war.

In El Salvador in the 1980s, the government’s armed forces are already recruiting twelve year olds, rousting them out of their classes at the local middle school. If he is lucky, Chava has just one year of innocence left, one year before he, too, will be conscripted to fight the government’s battle against the peasant rebels of the FMLN. Chava’s life becomes a game of survival, not only from the bullets of the escalating war, but also from the dispiriting effects of daily violence. As he hustles to find work to help his single mother pay the bills, and experiences the pangs of first love for a beautiful classmate, Chava’s tiny home village becomes both playground and battlefield. 2004, Mexico, Spanish with English subtitles, 120 min.

With a report and discussion on the history of U.S. involvement in El Salvador by an activist from the FMLN and ANSWER Coalition.

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