Sunday, December 12, 2004

Movies to Watch For

2004 saw the release of two new documentary films on El Salvador.
El Pueblo Unido is a film about the struggle for political, economic and social justice in El Salvador during and after the civil war. Voces Innocentes is based on the true story of Oscar Torres' childhood in El Salvador as civil war ravaged the country throughout the 1980s and boys like Torres were forcibly conscripted. Voces Innocentes recently won the 2005 Stanley Kramer Award from the Producers Guild of America which recognizes films the highlight provocative social issues. The film is also Mexico's entry in the foreign film category for the 2005 Academy Awards.

I haven't had a chance to see either movie, and hopefully they will find a way to get distribution in the U.S. or will be released in the future on DVD.


David said...


I've been meaning to congratulate you on your blog. I actually find it a relief that you're covering so much, as my 9-month slog at blogging is becoming tiring.

Just one note about Voces Inocentes--it's not a documentary! but rather a full-length feature film. So, hopefully, it will show up in some theaters at some point, and should definitely come out on DVD or HBO. It premieres here in El Salvador this month, in a week or so, so keep an eye out for reviews.

Miguel said...

Was just in San Salvador and watched Voces Inocentes. Overall a good production, but it's clear that the film maker decided to mostly show 1 side of the equation. The Salvadorean military are obviously the 'bad guys' in this plot. I can think of many other plots where the FMLN are the bad guys. There were some attempts of balancing the storytelling by showing how the FMLN used schools, churches, for 'defenses' that showed how the real victims of this conflict were the people of El Salvador.

I am happy just with the fact that it was showing in many different movie theaters during the busy month of December. 20 years ago, this movie would not have shown anywhere in El Salvador!

louis friend said...

Recently went to the opening of this film. It was haunting and
very real as to the accounts
and perhaps spared us from some
of the real atrosities that happened. Great performance
by child actor.

Anonymous said...

Quite honestly, as a salvadorena, I was offended by how inaccurate this film was in depicting the country, the people, and the war in El Salvador. The director should have done his homework.

Latin X-Man said...

Voces Inocentes is an excellent film!! i recently had the pleasure of watching it. While it is very true to some people it may not be for others as we all experience that horrendous war from our individual life's perspective. For what i understand, this film is about the life of Chava during the war and his experience as a child and not about the war. I lived in El Salvador during the 80's and through out the war. This could have been any yelling bus fair collecting Shambita (What he really should have been called without adaptations). it could have been you or me. I remember the kids screaming El Centro, El Centro hanging from the bus door with 10 other passengers. Nothing had changed regarding that in 2005.I was in El Salvador in 2005 for 3 long months and even with all the beautiful new malls, american restaurants and the dolarization a great number of people still live that way. The movie is actually a very clean representation of the way bus drivers speak in El Salvador. Anonymous you must have never ridden the bus in the 1980's. Soe people have and will watch this movie from their priviledge Arenista cushy chair in Santa Elena, San
Benito or Escalon. While the Mara infested poverty stricken Zacamil, Cuzca, Soyapango, Ilopango, Cd. Delgado, Chalate, oriente, San Miguel, should i go on? Some people really just live in a mini-pulgarcito bubble. Wake up. btw sis i mention it is an Excellent Movie?? =)

Anonymous said...

I was wondering if someone could clarify the inaccuracy of " this depicting the country, the people, and the war in El Salvador" ?

Anonymous said...

Because of movies like this one people never learn the truth about the war. I have to agree that this people only saw it as a good opportunity to make money, and didn't do their homework like some one pointed it out. If it would've been correct his name would've been CHAMBA not chava, I was very insulted so to me this movie is a hells noooo... FMLN used the people as well did the military I remember when one night they came over a village claiming that they were gerrillas and the next morning they had the uniform of the tercera brigada. It was the military who killed more people lets not forget that, but the FMLN was wrong all the way.

Anonymous said...

Till this day, I have a hard time understanding why we were there? I was 18 when I was sent there. Just a soldier in the middle of the most horrific war I have ever seen. who's side were we on? I don't have a clue. I'm 43 years old now and I still have trouble going to sleep at night, thinking of the things I have seen and done. Before I die, I want to apologize to whom ever would listen. I hope what ever we fought for was worth it. I can't sleep anymore. I see the faces in my sleep. Please forgive us...