Time Traveler or Prophet(eer) – A Film Review of Sound of My Voice

Time Traveler or Prophet(eer) – A Film Review of Sound of My Voice

Sometimes skepticism can easily be mistaken for narrow-mindedness.  Those who have accepted skepticism into the current of their daily ritual will tell you that it is systematic and functions on the belief that inquiry will always rule out over blind faith. Sound of My Voice, the collaborative brainchild of budding talents Brit Marling and Zal Batmanglij, is built upon this argument, and raises the question how can we tell the difference between fact and enlightened personal experience?

Peter (Christopher Denham) and Lorna (Nicole Vicius) have a vested interest in being accepted into a secretL.A. cult that meets nightly in an undisclosed location in the valley. The target of their pursuit is Maggie (Brit Marling) the elusive female leader, who dresses as a contemporary Virgin Mary and who claims to be a prophet from the year 2054. Orchestrating a type of psychotherapy environment where the faithful abandon their individual souls to be part of the group, Maggie presents herself as savant time-traveller who has come back to bring a select few to a ‘safer’ place. Wanting to expose Maggie as a fraud and con-artist through a DIY documentary film, Peter and Lorna immerse themselves into this ritualistic cult life. As the couple falls deeper into Maggie’s hypnotic trance-like hold, a shift occurs and those who are traditionally governed by reason and logic begin to question if they are on the right side.

Premièring at the 2011 Sundance film festival, Sound of My Voice, has received well deserved critical acclaim and has since, gained momentum as a leading film in the genre of sci-fi realism. Parallels can be drawn between Sound of My Voice and Another Earth, which also premièred at Sundance the same year. The two films not only share their main star, Marling, but also a comparable mental state of disconnection and anxiety over the inevitable, i.e the future and how we all fit into it.

The beauty of Sound of My Voice is its ability to remain thrilling in the face of ambiguity. Events transpire, and our faith as viewers is tested, as it employs an intentional disregard for dramatic irony. The greatest thrill would come for those who delve into Sound of My Voice knowing little about the plot, but who are open to experience a film that questions blind faith, loyalty and awareness. In addition to the trailer, the first 12 minutes of the film are also by clicking here.

Christina Stimpson

May 24, 2012 / By

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