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Romero vs. Voces Innocentes: Films Comparison


Romero was filmed in commemoration of Oscar Romero, former leader of Salvadoran who organized several peaceful protests against violent military regime. Oscar Romero organized and led the protests at the expense of his life. The core ideas of the film are expressed through fictional characters and true events. On the other side, Voces Innocentes (Innocent Voices) is a film that explains Oscar Romero’s childhood stories. The film also focuses on military use of children, injustice against the innocent, and people being forced to go to war. Additionally, the same film introduces Chava, a boy whose father had escaped from United States of America after civil war commenced. This essay compares and contrasts the two films, discussing life events that happened to Oscar Romero from his childhood to the time he was organizing protests against the military.

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The two films focus on highlighting on the hardship that children underwent in the presence of brutal military. In this context, children mean people under the age of eighteen years as defined by Convention on the Rights of the Child. The military misused the children for their own gain. During those days, military was aware that children are easy to manipulate, hence forcing them to join military. Children received training on how to use combat, assigned roles, such as porters and messengers, used as human shields and used to spread propaganda for political advantage purposes. Introducing children to military is not advisable at any point; they might make uninformed decisions, hence causing damage to the society and themselves.

Additionally, Romero and Voces Innocentes highlight how poor people were misled to join the military. Those in power tend to take advantage of the poor, entice them with small handouts, hence falling for the trap. Just as these two films explain through drama, it happened to Oscar Romero, and this is the reason he could not allow the military to keep on misusing the less fortunate. The military should take lead in protecting human lives from all threats. In this case, the military chose to violate human rights and impose danger on innocent lives. Taking advantage of others is emphasized in both films, indicating clearly how those in power misled the less informed individuals.

Moreover, Romero and Voces Innocentes focus on analyzing the ugly part of the civil war. The country’s involvement in World War I and World War II explains the pressure as to why children and women were being misled in terms of making decisions. Children were forced to drop out of school to join the military, families had to break, people had to hide for their life, many people were killed, and family separation happened. Engaging the public and the military is an ugly scene that no one should experience in real life. It is heartbreaking and traumatizing especially for children to witness war. They and the poor should not be taken advantage of to benefit other individuals.

Romero and Voces Innocentes both express passion for advocating for human rights. Children rights are violated by recruiting them into military forces as well as ambushing and killing innocent people. Citizens’ life is exposed to danger at the watch of rulers of those days. Organizing protests against military regime and protecting children from being recruited into military is a reasonable gesture of protecting human life. Children should be allowed to reach eighteen years and above for them to be able to make decisions. Forcing people to do activities that cost their life can be traumatizing. Joining military forces should be voluntary, whereby an individual has attained the legal age and is capable of making informed decisions when it comes to war.


The two films introduce viewers into two different scopes of Oscar Romero. In Romero, the audience is introduced to his adult age life while in Voces Innocentes, viewers are shown his childhood life and difficulties he underwent. Romero explains on how Oscar Romero at this time, as an adult, organized protests against military regime while Voces Innocentes outlines the difficulties that Oscar Romero underwent as a child. In different stages of life, people pass through various experiences, there are times of happiness and times of sorrow. It is through traumatizing experiences that individuals learn on how to overcome difficult moments. Learning through the hard way equipped Romero with the courage and ability to protest against human rights violation.

Voces Innocentes considers how people were forced to fight in the civil war. People were not consulted on their personal interests, whether to fight or not, but it was a mandatory for them to participate in the war. Romero outlines on how Oscar Romero influenced people not to be deceived and deprived of their rights. Educating people on their rights made Oscar exceptional after he had passed through unpleasant moments with the military. The government should be always present to educate the public on their rights, protect them, and let them make informed decisions. Oscar Romero is a hero of his time; he advocated for change in the society and was ready to die while protecting those who came after him. Some of the patriotic actions that people engage in are for the generations to follow.

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In addition, Voces Innocentes tells viewers on how Oscar Romero grew up in the military. At his age, Oscar was introduced to several roles, some he could not handle. Child abuse was not an issue, and due to fear, Oscar and other children decided to keep it. It is believed the children were brainwashed and even used as vessels to reveal more about their colleagues. At the same time, Romero film shows viewers that the character is capable of making decisions and even engaging in telling public the truth. He is against whatever happened to him, and he wants to prevent anyone else from going through that pain. It is traumatizing to see people make wrong decisions yet one had the opportunity to inform them of the dangers and consequences.


Romero and Voces Innocentes have some similarities and contrasts. The message of past events was passed to current generation through filming. Though majority criticize these two films for their complexity and war scenes, people have gained knowledge concerning their rights. People who devote their lives to saving others should be considered heroes. Romero never cared about what might happen to him, he was devoted to saving his fellow citizens. Children should not be used for personal gain; it is the responsibility of every individual to protect children from being misled. Training them in the military can be termed child labor because some of the roles assigned expose children to danger. Responsible citizens enlighten others about what they are supposed to do as well as what they should not engage themselves in.


Romero [motion picture]. Directed by John Duigan. 1987. Los Angeles: Warner Bros, 1989. DVD.

Voces inocentes: Innocent voices. Directed by Luis Mandoki. Mexico: 20th Century Studios, 2005. DVD.

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