Innocent Voices

Synopsis: A young boy, in an effort to have a normal childhood in 1980's El Salvador, is caught up in a dramatic fight for his life as he desperately tries to avoid the war which is raging all around him.
Genre: Drama, Thriller, War
Director(s): Luis Mandoki
Production: BB Entertainment/Slow Hand
  13 wins & 10 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
120 min

In 1980, a civil war erupted|in the small country of El Salvador.

It began as a conflict between|the Salvadorean Army and the peasants over land.

The peasants soon organized and|became the guerrilla army known as the FMLN.

This conflict escalated into|a brutal civil war that would last 12 years.

Cuscatanzingo was one of the last villages|trapped between the guerilla and the army.

Here is where this story takes place.



I'm so thirsty...

...and my feet hurt.

I have rocks in my shoes.

They're going to kill us for sure.

Why do they want to kill us|if we haven't done anything?

My dad left us...

...and went to the United States|when the war started.

Mom didn't come|out to say goodbye.

She said that now I was|the man of the house.

But first I had to pee.

Two wings.|Who could have two wings?

Two wings to fly.

This afternoon in the mountains,|I almost had them...

...and the desire to spread|them open over that sleepy ocean.

No, not me!

Fito, help me!

Help me!

Let's go.

I'm home, Mom!

I'm sorry.

I had to walk Antonio|and Fito home.

Don't they have feet|to find their own way?

You know how chicken they are.

Don't be late again.

These soldiers aren't playing.

One day, God forbid, they'll grab|a rifle and shoot you.

You understand?

Yes, Mom.

Temo! Temo!|Temo! Temo!

We were all scared|of turning 12...

...because that's|when the army takes you.

I had one year left.

You know, Ancha?|Me and you are alike.

We are!|We're both little.

- Yes, I'm little.|- Big.

In size, but not up here.

Ancha was my friend.

Everyone said he was|a fish brain.

Thank you, Anchita.

But he was the only one who|wasn't scared to have a birthday.

Good. God bless.

Hi, farty sister.

Where were you?|It's late.

- Take care of your brother and sister?|- Don't worry.


...dear, don't feed Ricardito|after eight, okay?

Even if he screams.

Why, mommy?

I love you.|Take out the garbage.

And close the door, bolt it|and don't let anybody in.

- You're my man of the house.|- Yeah, right, the man of the house.

You don't even know|how to wipe your own butt.

Leave my brother alone!|Come and eat.

He fell asleep.

The mattresses, Chava!

I want my mommy!

Watch out, Chava!|Don't get up there!

Get under the bed!|Quick! Get under here!

- Good night.|- Good night.

Grandma Mama Toya!

Mama Toya!

- Have you heard from Beto, mother?|- Nothing.

I haven't heard|from your brother...

...since they closed|the university.

Let's hope he's alright.

We'd know if he wasn't.|Bad news travels fast.

He'll show up.

It was really bad last night.

And the kids were alone.

I have to quit my job.

And who's going to support you?

Why don't you come live here?

How can we, Mother?|There's not enough room.

I don't mean with me.|Refugio's house is empty.

That way I can keep|an eye on the kid's...

...and help with their homework.

If we move,|he'll never find us.

Don't fool yourself.

Those who go North|get swept away.

Lift your head up, Kella.

Those who leave suffer|more than those who stay...

...and those who stay fight.

Take these savings...

...and buy yourself a weapon.

Since Mom started|working at home...

...the war didn't seem so big.

Beto loves you a little,|a lot, or nothing at all.

Cecilia!|It's curfew, go home.

Just a little longer.

Angelita, don't worry|your grandma. Go inside.

Please, grandma, five minutes.|Tell her.


You too, Chava.

One day, there they were.|The Gringos.

The same as they are|in the movies.

They said they were|here to help us.

Don Yeyo!

Spit that out, Chava.

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Luis Mandoki

Luis Mandoki (born August 17, 1954 in Mexico City) is a Mexican film director working in Mexico and Hollywood. Luis Mandoki studied Fine Arts in Mexico and at the San Francisco Art Institute, the London College of Printing, and the London International Film School. While attending this last institution he directed his first short film Silent Music which won an award at the International Amateur Film Festival of Cannes Film Festival in 1976. Back in Mexico he directed short films and documentaries for the Instituto Nacional Indigenista (the National Institute for the Indigenous), Conacine (National Commission of Film) and the Centro de Produccion de Cortometraje (Center for the Production of Short Films). In 1980 he received an Ariel Award of the Mexican Academy of Film for his short film El secreto. Four years later, his film Motel was selected to represent Mexico in film festivals around the globe. At the age of 30 he developed, wrote, produced and directed Gaby: A True Story, a movie about the struggles of handicapped Gaby Brimer. This film was nominated for both the Academy and Golden Globe Awards. For the next 15 years he filmed only in English until the critically acclaimed Voces inocentes of 2004. This film gave him a Best Director nomination for the Ariel Award in 2005. The film also received three awards and was nominated for Best Film. The film was selected to represent Mexico for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film and had a box-office output of 49.4 million pesos (roughly 4.5 million U.S. dollars) and was seen by 1.5 million people. Luis Mandoki currently resides in Mexico City with his wife, Olivia, and three children Camille, Daniel and Michelle. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Innocent Voices" STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 3 Oct. 2022. <>.

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