|Directed by||Luis Mandoki|
|Produced by||Lawrence Bender|
|Written by||Luis Mandoki
Óscar Orlando Torres
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|Release date(s)||16 September 2004 (Toronto Film Festival)|
|Running time||123 min|
Voces inocentes (English title: Innocent Voices) is a 2004 Mexican film directed by Luis Mandoki. The plot is set during the Salvadoran Civil War in 1980, and is based on writer Óscar Torres's childhood. The film serves as a general commentary on the military use of children. The movie also shows injustice against innocent people who are forced to fight in the war. It follows the story of the narrator, a boy named Chava.
Chava is 11 years old and the eldest son of Kella. His father left when the war started. His family lives in a town that is currently heavily fought over between the Salvadoran army and the guerrillas. His mother makes a living for the family by sewing, and Chava sells the clothes in shops. When he's not in school, Chava helps out by announcing stations for a bus driver. He is nearing the age when the military will recruit him. He witnesses the army recruiting twelve year old children from his school. One day his uncle Beto, who has joined the guerrillas, comes to visit them. Beto wants to take Chava with him so the military can't recruit him, but Kella is against it. Beto gives a radio to Chava and tells him how to listen to the guerrillas' banned radio station. Chava takes a risk by playing the station in front of the soldiers, but the town's priest saves him by playing the same station over the church's loudspeaker. Chava falls in love with a girl in his class named Cristina Maria. The guerrillas attack the army from the school building and the school is closed. Kella and her family move out of town to her mother's house in a safer area. One of the guerrillas tells Chava of the army's next recruitment day, and Chava and his friends warn the entire city to hide their children. Chava decides to visit Cristina Maria but only finds the bombed-out shell of her house. He and his friends decide to join the guerrillas, but they are followed and the guerrilla camp is attacked by the army. Chava and his friends are taken to be shot near a river, but at the last moment Chava is saved by a guerrilla attack. He runs home to find his mother in the burnt out ruins of their house. She decides to send him abroad to save him, and he promises to return and rescue his brother before he too turns twelve.
One of the biggest critiques of the film was the characters not speaking in Salvadoran accents or Caliche. The people of El Salvador for the most part speak in voseo, which was non-existent in the film.