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Year: 2004
USA: Slowhand Cinema Releasing
UK: The Works UK Distribution
Cast: Carlos Padilla Lenero, Leonor Varela, Jose Maria Yazpik, Ofelia Medina, Daniel Gimenez Cachoi, Jesus Ochoa, Xuna Primus, Gustavo Munoz, Adrian Alonso, Alejandro Felipe, Paulina Gaitan, Andres Marquez Edgar Mencos, Ignacio Retes, Jorge Angel Toriello
Director: Luis Mandoki
Countries: Mexico / USA / Puerto Rico
Language: Spanish (English subtitles)
USA: 120 mins
UK: 111 mins
USA Rated: R for disturbing violence and some language
UK: Certificate: 12A contains moderate violence
USA Release Date: 14 October 2005 (Limited Release
UK Release Date: 11 August 2006


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

Based on the true story of screenwriter Oscar Torre's embattled childhood, Luis Mandoki's INNOCENT VOICES is the poignant tale of Chava (Carlos Padilla), an 11 year-old boy who suddenly becomes the head of his family 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 12 year-olds, rousting them out of their classes at the local middle school. If Chava is lucky he has one year of innocence left before he too is conscripted by the government's battle against the rebel peasants of the FMLN.

As the war escalates Chava's life becomes one of survival, dodging the bullets and also the dispiriting effects of daily violence. Hustling for work to help his single mother (Leonor Varela) pay the bills he also experiences the sensations of first love when he is captivated by a beautiful fellow pupil.

Thus Chava's village becomes both battlefield and playground as he is faced with the agonising and impossible choice of either joining the army or the rebels and endeavours to keep an open mind in his race against time.

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