QUOTES FROM THE PRESS
"Monihan´s no-budget debut feature wields exceptional aptitude on formal and stylistic levels, sometimes even brimming with various audio and visual perks such as fleeting explosions of colour and sound signifying desperate escapist psychohygiene. To put it simply, The Voice of the Voiceless is a revelation."
"This film is a knockout. It shows my city in a way I had never seen before."
"Quite originally suggests Czech surreal filmmaking from decades ago."
"In her screen debut, actress Janeva Calderón Zentz, with her big, big eyes and her clown-like fragility brings to the screen a mix of Charlot and Giulietta Massina. Here is a film with more sense and soul than 3 quarters of the productions we watch in the malls, made possible with a budget smaller than the tip the Hollywood stars give the valet to park their cars."
"A wonderful film, a ‘golpe’ as you say in Spanish. And Janeva is magnificent."
"Inevitably this is a film that shows rather than tells, but by embracing the silence and the power of image, Monihan has made a film that opens our eyes to an unknown world and speaks volumes."
"The soundscape builds up an unmatched sense of separation from the rest of the world. I’ve never identified with a protagonist so much because of a filming technique."
"It's like Chaplin meets Eraserhead. Go."
Dave BessEling, GQ Magazine
"The silent flick that came out of left field (read, the USA) to tug at my "Blind"-conquered heart is a monumental debut for Maximón Monihan, who both wrote and directed it. Subject matter aside, the movie ranks so high on my list of must-revisits as an exceptional visual and aural feat"
INTERVIEWS & REVIEWS
"My favourite film of the week was Voice of the Voiceless, a black-and-white masterpiece about a deaf girl dancing on the New York subway as she looked for money from commuters. The movie went on to explain how she came from Central America, and was enslaved to a brutish gang that forced her to work for them. They beat her up when she tried to rebel."
GROLSCH FILM WORKS
"...the suggested surrealism is played lightly, and the film is “silent” because the film's protagonist can't hear. Monihan uses a distorted low-frequency, vibration-heavy sound design to replicate the experience of a person with impaired hearing. [ ] Though obviously produced on a tiny budget, former professional skateboarder Monihan makes up for his limitations with his strong sense for visual storytelling, proving that there's at least one Brooklyn-based filmmaker with a DSLR who's interested in more than whining white people and their problems."
Istanbul Film Festival (Interview)
"America has been having a 400+ year old love affair with slavery. All the messed up crap that happens in the so-called land of the free can be directly traced back to slavery. And the fact that it was taking place [in New York City] so blatantly, seemed like something that should be commented on. [ ] what’s crazy, what’s really telling, is that the vast majority of the people who interacted with these people, on a daily basis, had no idea that these people were in fact being forced to do this against their will. 100% oblivious to the reality. 100% unaware that they were interacting with enslaved peoples."
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THESSALONIKI IFF / FLIX Interview
TIMEOUT MUMBAI (Interview)
"I wanted to avoid turning it into a mere pastiche of silent era conventions, at all costs. That, to me, would be too gimmicky. The idea was to place the audience in the head-space of Olga, our protagonist. She’s non-hearing, so our audience will be too. But with that said, I thought, since we have a very legitimate reason for the picture being “silent”, we could incorporate elements of silent films while avoiding the coy, “Well, aren’t we clever” homage type shallow crap that is inevitable in pastiche films. We were also hungry to take on the challenge of doing a “silent” film without the aid of a non-stop score and intertitles and all of that, to see if we could still create something compelling enough to keep an audience’s attention."
MUMBAI IFF INTERVIEW
TVBOMB GLASGOW (Review)
Director Maximón Monihan could easily have made this film yet another brutalising tale of an innocent abroad, but instead we get a compassionate and sometimes very funny tale of survival. Olga’s rebellion is to hold on to her childlike joy and sense of fantasy despite everything that happens to her. Monihan blends fantastic elements into the story without seeming forced and Adena’s expressive face is able to show the full range of her emotions. Inevitably this is a film that shows rather than tells, but by embracing the silence and the power of image, Monihan has made a film that opens our eyes to an unknown world and speaks volumes.
‘4 out of 5 BOMBS’
THE HINDU INDIA (Interview)
LVDLS traces the story of Olga, a young deaf girl from Guatemala who is entrapped within the ring, abused by its perpetrators, and has no means to escape. Her ordeal is traumatic for the viewer too, as the silent film’s realistic soundscape recreates Olga’s claustrophobic headspace through low frequency vibrations that mimic what someone deaf possibly hears. “LVDLS was always a silent film in my mind. But I didn’t want to use silent film techniques in a gimmicky sense. There had to be a reason for the silence. Most hearing impaired people register these low noises, so our sound designer Miguel Coffman took many field recordings to make a background sound that is a character in itself throughout the film,” says Maximon.
THE HUFFINGTON POST GERMANY (Review)
"The Voice of the Voiceless" ist ein unbequemer wie interessanter Film mit einem einzigartigen Stil und einer grandiosen Hauptdarstellerin, der mich dazu gebracht hat, meine Einstellung zu gewissen Dingen zu überdenken.
ONEMAN GREECE (Interview)
To “La Voz De Los Silenciados” δεν είναι σαν πολλές ταινίες που έχεις ξαναδεί ή ακούσει- κι ο σκηνοθέτης του επίσης, μάλλον ο πιο συναρπαστικό από τους σκηνοθέτες που συναντήσαμε στο φετινό Φεστιβάλ. Ο Μάξιμον Μόνιχαν είναι μια τρομερή περίπτωση απίστευτα ενεργητικού τύπου, που του λες ένα και σου επιστρέφει δέκα, μια τρομερή περσόνα που όμως έχει πράγματα με τα οποία να μπορεί να στηρίξει όσα βγάζει προς τα έξω.
ANIMAL NEW YORK
Next time you see the hearing impaired peddling trinkets on the subway for change, you’ll think of Olga, a teenager from Central America who thought she was coming here to study sign language, instead, she was tricked into doing this for an international crime ring, along with other tricked immigrants, terrified to escape the squat of her captors. Looks compelling and completely day-shattering. Also, Ricky Powell plays Henchman #1. Sold!
“La voz de los silenciados” sigue a Olga en ese sistema cruel y atroz, una pesadilla sobre la que intenta escapar pero en la que se encuentra atrapada. El film muestra la realidad más dramática con los deseos de libertad expresados a través de un pingüino de peluche y la amenaza que la banda realiza respecto a la integridad de sus familiares en Centroamérica. La acción de la película es rutinaria y repetitiva pero siempre con pequeñas acciones que contienen la esperanza de salir de ese embrollo en el que se encuentra.