‘My Two Voices’ is a documentary film reflecting on identity fluidity. It focuses on three Latin American women, Ana, Claudia and Marinella who share their intimate experiences of moving to Canada. When exploring the deeper reason for migration, the script focuses on their daily domestic lives, forming a fragmented picture of their exterior and interior lives.
Even though the three women are drawn from different backgrounds they have much in common. All three emphasise recurring elements of violence, belonging, motherhood and reconciliation in their lives. Filmmaker Lina Rodriguez named the film ‘My Two Voices’ because she highlights the links between identity and language in the narrative. The two voices in the title refer to their Spanish mother tongue and the newly adapted English language they learned in Canada. As it progresses, ‘My Two Voices’ reveals more of the women’s lives and personalities, gradually forming intimate family portraits in the closing moments.
The film combines carefully composed close-ups of hands and faces alongside contemplative imagery of private and public spaces. These take us deeper into the story with layers of subtle angles instead of merely presenting a linear perspective. With these detailed shots, we get the finer nuances of the actors’ facial expressions. This complements the subtle layers that Rodriguez conveys to her audience through ‘My Two Voices’. This prompts the audience into their own interpretation of the storyline.
The film does not express sympathy for the protagonists’ experiences to a great extent. Rodriguez plays with the angles of the camera to narrate a calm story. However, behind the calm, the unsettled experiences of the protagonists can be felt. The women are tenacious and that filters through the projected calm.
Rodriguez is a Colombian-Canadian filmmaker and has directed six short films and three features, which have been showcased in festivals and cultural venues including the Berlin International Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival and the New York Film Festival. Rodriguez fully and deeply tells the story of complex identity crisis and feminist issues in a brilliant cinematic language and is undoubtedly worthy of praise. However lengthy dialogues interspersed with voiceovers slow down the film. A special mention goes to the film’s critical thinking and thoughtful visual arts and that is the greatest takeaway from the film.
For more information and to watch the trailer of ‘My Two Voices’ click here: www.ica.art/films/my-two-voices
Reviewed by Jiajing Yang. Yang is a MA Documentary-Fiction student at UCL and a volunteer writer for Abundant Art. Yang has written several different articles on the WeChat platform and Zhihu website, mostly about film and literature, and she has published a romantic novel based on ancient China.