The Sleeping Voice: emotion and suffering of two resistants against Spain's dictatorship
Benito Zambrano’s historical drama The sleeping Voice (La voz dormida) portrays Spain beneath Franco’s repressive and dictatorial regime. The film is adapted from the eponymous novel by Dulce Chacón, who based her research on oral accounts of events. It will be released on video on demand on 17 October as part of Walk this Way’s new collection; This is War.
The sleeping Voice tells the story of two sisters in 1940, when Franco’s tyranny had become absolute and all past and present dissenters were being sent to prison. In many cases this was the preliminary step to ending up before the firing squad, after a summary trial without witnesses or defence.
Dark-haired Andalusian beauty Hortensia (Inma Cuesta, who recently starred in Julieta by Pedro Almodovar and Snow White by Pablo Berger), is a vigorous opponent to the regime who has been sent to a woman’s prison to await her trial. She is preganant by her husband, a resistant who is hiding in the mountains, but doesn’t receive any preferential treatment. Her young sister Pepita (María León, also in Carmina! and Heroes Wanted) comes to Madrid to visit and be closer to her. Very quickly, the timid and inexperienced Pepita is dispatched on a dangerous mission to help Hortensia and the resistance.
The plot of The Sleeping Voice is so immersive and the acting (particularly that of María León, who won Best Actress at San Sebastian and the 2012 Goyas) moves so easily between drama and comedy that the audience cannot help but be invested in the fate of the characters, a decidedly deadly fate...
The director explains; "I believe our Civil War and its brutal consequences are acutely relevant today. Bringing to light the atrocious repression committed by the victorious side is a way of doing justice to the victims. Ever since I read the novel, I felt with absolute clarity that this was an extraordinary story. An incredible tale full of truth and feeling. Overflowing with compassion and suffering. Of hate and love”.
The Sleeping Voice – trailer:
14 October 2016, by Cineuropa