Category Archives: El Club de Peliculas

El Club de Peliculas – “Innocent Voices”

Having never lived through war in my back yard, civil or otherwise, I am struck at first with the horror of it.  I ponder how one could continue with any semblance of routine; going to work, sending the kids off to school or out to play or getting a peaceful nights sleep.  Of course after a time I suppose that this horror too, insinuates itself into the list of givens that become to a degree invisible or at least understood as you go through a day’s activities.  Until the gun shots ring out again, or you are burying your dead or your boy child, God help him, reaches the age of 12, one is obliged to co-exist however tenuously with this uninvited squatter.

The writers Luis Mondoki and Oscar Orlando Torres seemed to soft peddle an editorial about international policy while letting us know that they were not naive to these dynamics.  Instead they simmer these high level abstractions and varying agendas to a most potent reduction;  the juxtaposing of war with the day-to-day life of a child named Chava who is at it’s mercy and in it’s cross hairs.  They examine the concentric circles of Chava’s life and show us how each was impacted by the insanity.  A curfew interrupts old play routines, his mom is terrified when he is late, “These solders are not playing.”, his school yard is alternately guarded by soldiers and invaded by soldiers who are take the 12 year olds to war, young love between he and Cristina Maria is contrasted against soldiers kidnapping young girls walking past their truck, the solace of prayer and the church is exchanged for a message by the priest who calls the congregation to resistance, “Brothers, it is not enough to pray”,  old friends are transformed into guerillas who have traded skipping rocks for shooting guns.

After seeing this movie I wanted to know more about this civil war that killed more than 75,000 people over 12 years and how the US was involved.  I found this site in my search http://www.pbs.org/itvs/enemiesofwar/story.html .   Now I have been sitting with my computer on my lap for about an hour.  I’ve written and I’ve erased at least a dozen times.  Though I would love to hear what those of you who have seen this film think, how it impacted you, I am finding that I am quite speechless.       – Joan

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El Club de Peliculas – “Innocent Voices”

Okay here´s what I’m thinking.  We’ll start with this line up of movies but I would love to hear suggestions for future viewing from you all.  In my list you’ll note that when available I have included a link to it’s trailer in YouTube.  Let’s take two weeks for each one which means from today, we will talk about Innocent Voices on the 16th of April, no, let’s make that Friday the 18th.  On the 16th, my darling is being sworn in as an American Citizen!  Yeah!  We will write about that later. 

If you discover this Post after the 18th, just watch the film when you can and add your comments then.  It will be fun to have the conversation continue long after the original viewing of the film. 

I am guessing that there will be a list of things to think about in each film that may be unique to that film,  but for a general guideline and because we are watching these films to get some additional cultural, historical and idiomatic insight, let’s do this a bit unconventionally.  And as much as is possible, let’s not give away the end of the film for those who have not yet had a chance to watch it.  Though you don’t have to comment on all of these points or only these points, here ARE things to consider that will give shape to the films as you watch them; 

          What was the message that the writer wanted to convey

          What techniques did the director use to this end

          Define the internal struggles of the characters drawing out these inherent paradoxes

          Define the struggle and/or the attraction/affinity between the characters and the likely reasons for this

          What aspects of this story could you relate to or at least were within the realm of familiarity and why.  

–     What aspects of this story felt foreign and unfamiliar to you and why.

          What words or expressions were new or puzzling to you. 

–      If you heard a turn of phrase that you found interesting tell us what is was and why you found it interesting.

          How did this film leave you, that is;  What did you find yourself thinking about, what did you find yourself feeling.         

Movie Line-up

Innocent Voices  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fb-uFc62Gx4    on April 18th

Live-in-Maid  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QTLDeIIRHq4&feature=related   on May 2nd

Pan´s Labyrnth  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EqYiSlkvRuw   on May 16th

The Official Story  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g7LF5II0wIY   on May 30th 

I’m excited to hear what you all have to say!  Don’t be shy now.   Hasta mañana en otro tema,  -Joan   (pero siempre quiero recordarles que tenemos videos y podcasts también)

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