Small Voices (2003)
Dreams are what Melinda brought with her the day she left for the flung provincial town of Malawig. The young teacher arrives to find a land of coconut and rice fields, and a people barren of hope. Poverty has made the townsfolk passive, resigned to a bitter fate, while others fight in the mountains, staking their lives for some kind of change. "Only the rich can afford to dream. We can't." The words of a child urge Melinda to strive to make the town listen - poverty does not make victims of people. Hopes are essential, and dreams can be made real. Against the skepticism of town, Melinda and the children of Malawig join a humble singing contest. Their small voices ring out against darkness, against poverty, death, and despair. Their song awakens in everyone a small flame of hope a daring to dream, and a willingness to fight for it. Melinda leaves the town believing that it is within one's power to make a difference, that within one's self is a voice of hope waiting to be heard. -- © Munting Tinig … More
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Critic Reviews for Small Voices
It wants to have its cake and eat it, too, wishing to be inspirational and satirical in the same breath but managing mostly to be derivative and mawkish.
Small Voices works, even though its lesson has been pounded into you a hundred times before.
Despite its inherent predictability, the film nonetheless succeeds in its modest aims, thanks in large part to the director's fresh approach to his timeworn themes and to de Rossi's engaging performance as the committed teacher.
Like the white shirts worn by its students, this film is crisp. It's also more than a little humbling.
Presents its case with conviction and a reasonable amount of insight.
The setting is unfamiliar, but the story is all too commonplace...a well-meaning but feeble little tale.
If only they tried a little more to make it less trying...a spoonful of sugar may help the medicine go down, but a 5-gallon sack just makes you sick.
Strives to tell a unique story, but ends up only with the same hokey, follow-your-dreams platitudes peddled by mainstream American cinema.
Small Voices is a trip to another culture that is enjoyable, even inspiring, in spite of its faults.
Gil M. Portes's simple, sincere film teaches us that big dreams -- and the desire to follow them -- often come in small packages.
Educators everywhere should be grateful for such an effective and affecting demonstration of the power of formal schooling to combat poverty and change lives.
Small Voices presents a simple message about the power of dreams, and only a confirmed curmudgeon could take issue with that.
Differentiated from countless similar tales only by the Filipino setting.
This uplifter is proof redundant that sincerity and plodding obviousness are not a marriage of virtues.
There's not much new in this Filipino film by longtime director Gil M. Portes. But it's so endearing that only a grouch wouldn't be charmed.
An affecting film that is also quite critical of the resignation that seems to permeate Philippine society, underlined by corruption and violence.
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