Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Movie Review: Innocent Voices

I don't usually do movie reviews on this site, but I'll make an exception for Innocent Voices, a movie about a boy growing up in the middle of El Salvador's civil war. It was just released in theaters, but I saw it at the DC Film Festival last Apring.

With all the violence suffusing movies these days, I've rare seen one that more closely evokes what it must be like for a child to live through a civil war as brutal as El Salvador's. You also can't help but think about what children must be experiencing this moment in Iraq (not to mention other countries in the world where wars rage.

But this wouldn't be Confined Space if I didn't say something critical about the Washington Post's movie reviewer, Desson Thomson.
So if "Innocent Voices" lacks political objectivity -- it depicts a Salvadoran civil war of gimlet-eyed, American-funded soldiers against genial, guitar-strumming guerrillas -- that's just how one man remembers it. Luis Mandoki's movie is based on the reminiscences of Oscar Orlando Torres, who came of age during El Salvador's 12-year bitter conflict that, by its end in 1992, had left 75,000 dead and sent a million exiles to other parts of the world.
Maybe I missed something, but I remember the war in El Salvador as a pretty clear case of good vs. evil. It makes you wonder what Thompson would write about a World War II movie:
So if "Schindler's List" lacks political objectivity -- it depicts a World War II of gimlet-eyed, cruel Nazi soldiers against genial, fiddle-playing Jews -- that's just how one man remembers it.
Must be objective and all that.