LA VOZ DE LOS SILENCIADOS

THE VOICE OF THE VOICELESS

By Maximón MONIHAN

BRICOLAGISTA! - as PROD

unknown - Completed 2014

Based on actual events, LA VOZ DE LOS SILENCIADOS is the story of Olga, a young deaf woman from Central America, who receives what appears to be a scholarship to a faith-based sign language school located in the United States. Upon arrival she finds herself enslaved in a human trafficking ring.

Festivals
& Awards

Mumbai FF 2013
International Competition, Young Critics Jury Award
Thessaloniki IFF 2013
Currents
Dharamshala IFF 2013
IFF Kerala 2013
World Cinema
Goteborg IFF 2014
Visionaries
Glasgow FF 2014
World Cinema
IKSV Istanbul IFF 2014
Human Rights Competition
Zlìn FF 2014
World Cinema
    • Year of production
    • 2014
    • Genres
    • unknown
    • Countries
    • GUATEMALA, USA
    • Languages
    • No dialog
    • Duration
    • 80 mn
    • Director(s)
    • Maximón MONIHAN
    • Writer(s)
    • Maximón MONIHAN
    • Producer(s)
    • Sheena MATHEIKEN (Bricolagista!), Maximón MONIHAN (Bricolagista!)
    • Synopsis
    • LA VOZ DE LOS SILENCIADOS is a radically different vision of filmmaking. An 80-minute silent film that tells the story of modern-day slavery, using non-actors, Brechtian edits, a brutal subway landscape, and the isolation of deafness. Along the way in this manic plot there is also a magic penguin.

      Inspired by a real New York story, the film follows Olga, a hearing impaired teenager from Central America. Lured to New York City under the false promise of attending a Christian sign language school, she finds herself a slave to an international criminal syndicate. Forced to sell 'I am deaf' trinkets on the subway, Olga is trapped inside a nightmare that will not end– and we, the audience, are trapped with her.

      Working from early in the morning until late at night, Olga and her fellow 'students' must raise a minimum of $100 a day or face physical abuse and torture. By necessity, this quotidian routine transforms an innocent girl into a street-wise young woman, reliant on wit and creativity to earn her quota from tourists and commuters alike. But will it be possible for Olga to ever escape this drudgery? And what does a penguin have to do with all of this?

      Based on the true story of a crime ring that was broken up by New York police in 1997, LA VOZ shatters our ideas of film, storytelling, and sound. During the 1990's, nearly everyday on New York subways, it was common to have a shy Latin American place a card with an attached trinket beside you on an empty seat. The card would explain that they were deaf, the knick-knack being sold to fund their 'education'. Some train riders would donate a dollar or two, while most would simply ignore the request. The more cynical would question whether these trinket peddlers were actually hearing impaired at all.

      The hawkers were in fact deaf, but were being forced to perform this routine by an international crime ring. Lured to the US under false pretenses, upon arrival they would find themselves working the subways as modern day slaves. Facing threats to their own lives and the lives of their families back home, escaping this existence of servitude appeared impossible. Inspired by this true incident, LA VOZ is a devastating drama of one brave teenager's attempt to maintain dignity in the face of callous mistreatment.
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