Silent Voice

No Longer Available

Film Info
Country Listing:France
Premiere Status:North American Premiere
Festival Info
Festival Year:2021
Accessibility:Partial Subtitles
Program Category:World Showcase
Film Subjects:European Cultures & Issues
LGBT Culture & Issues
Migration & Immigration
Cast/Crew Info
Director(s):Reka Valerik
Producer(s):David Hurst
Editor(s):Jeanne Oberson
Writer(s):Reka Valerik
Anaïs Llobet
Cinematography:Arnaud Alberola
Sound:Hélène Clerc Denizot


Winner—Best Mid-Length Documentary Award

Fleeing anti-gay tyranny in Chechnya, Khavaj (pseudonym), a young mixed martial arts fighter, finds himself adrift in Brussels suffering from trauma-induced, psychogenic mutism. An anonymous director (alias Reka Valerik) captures Khavaj's first few months in exile as he receives support from a Belgian non-profit organization. Long considered a hostile environment for LGBTQIA+ people, Chechnya has seen an uptick in homophobic violence in recent years, no doubt spurred by the hateful rhetoric from the head of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, and the anti-gay policies and cultural norms common across the Russian republics. Law enforcement and citizen vigilantes alike are known to abduct and terrorize those suspected of being gay. In Khavaj's case, his own brother is his tormentor and his attempts to build a new life are cinematically posited against the chilling backdrop of his mother's voicemails from home. Denae Peters

World Showcase program sponsored by
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Included Shorts

Let My Body Speak (11min) More

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