"A Whisper to a Roar" Chronicles the Ordinary Beginnings of Extraordinary Social Movements Review

A Whisper to a Roar focuses on struggles for democracy in five very different nations around the world, where the lack of fair elections and the violent oppression of political rivals by those who should never have been put in charge in the first place is more than enough cause to act. The various countries and cultures that the film showcases are all very different, but the one thing they have in common is a desire for change, even as the government that they rely on to protect their rights seems intent on squashing them underfoot. These people are as heroic as they come without having superpowers.

With smooth narration by actor Alfred Molina and quality direction from filmmaker Ben Moses (best known for producing Good Morning Vietnam), A Whisper to a Roar utilizes news clips, live footage, interviews and even animated sequences to show how powerful people can be when they are united for a good cause.

A charismatic and popular politician runs for president in Ukraine only to encounter threats, rigged results and even poisoning. The devoutly Muslim deputy prime minister of Malaysia is accused of sodomy and other crimes by the government after refusing to cater to the business interests of the prime minister’s family. Students in Venezuela encourage their fellow countrymen to get out and vote in order to remove as many seats as possible in the assembly from the cronies of Hugo Chavez, even as Chavez attempts to buy and control as much of the news media as possible in order to quiet their voices. A popular trade union official runs for election against the brutal dictator of Zimbabwe, but must decide whether or not to keep fighting after his supporters start being murdered by the government. Finally, the movement in Egypt against the crimes of Mubarek’s government gains traction via social media, culminating in the uprising that the entire world watched unfold only a few years ago. All of these stories feature hopeful, intelligent and heartbreakingly brave figures making all kinds of sacrifices for the sake of the greater good.

Not all of the movements documented in the film are entirely successful, and some that seem to be on the surface are, sadly, short-lived moments of victory. Yet even when chronicling such unfairness, the film manages to incite hope in the viewer by providing an inspiring look at the kinds of changes that people can bring about in their governments when they refuse to be silenced about injustice.

DVD Bonus Features

Also included are extended interviews with many of the film’s subjects and a theatrical trailer.

"A Whisper to a Roar" is on sale April 16, 2013 and is not rated. Documentary. Written and directed by Ben Moses. Starring Alfred Molina.

Lee Jutton • Staff Writer

Lee attended NYU for Film & TV Production, but she now works mostly in PR. Her primary obsessions in life are Doctor Who, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Arsenal F.C. When not writing about things she's watched, she's running or kickboxing in preparation for the inevitable zombie apocalypse. 


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