On Thursday, Oct. 4, 2018, Wells College presents a screening of "Voces inocentes," a 2004 film by Luis Mandoki.
The screening — the first of three films in the 2018-19 Hispanic Film Series III — will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. in Stratton Hall 209; the event is free and open to the public. The film series is presented by Alexander Torres, visiting assistant professor of Spanish at Wells College.
About the Film
"In the most wrenching scene from Luis Mandoki's film, 'Voces inocentes' ('Innocent Voices'), Salvadoran army troops storm into a school in the heart of an impoverished rural village, bark out a list of names and forcibly conscript any boy over 12 into the military. As the dazed, terrified children are herded into the back of a truck and carted away, their stricken parents look on in horrified silence; to interfere would be to risk being shot to death."
—New York Times
This scene is one of several in the film, which set in the 1980s during El Salvador's 12-year civil war. During those years, the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (F.M.L.N.) waged an armed struggle against the right-wing government, which responded by attacking villages and massacring inhabitants suspected of sympathizing with the left-wing guerrillas. The United States, fearing a Communist takeover of the country, backed the government and dispatched American soldiers to train the government troops, who eventually prevailed.
These events are viewed through the eyes of Chava (Carlos Padilla), a spirited 11-year-old boy and the oldest of three children who live with their mother, Kella (Leonor Varela), a seamstress struggling to provide for her family. Chava's father has left El Salvador for the United States, and there is no word as to his whereabouts.
The film is based on the real-life childhood experiences of Oscar Torres, who co-wrote the screenplay with director Mandoki. It is set mostly in the year between Chava's 11th and 12th birthdays, as the war worsens and his conscription looms."
For more on "Voces inocentes," read the 2005 New York Times review.