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Silent Voice (15*) + recorded ScreenTalk with director Reka Valerik

Cinema On Demand

A man sits on a bed

A young martial arts fighter flees Chechnya, after his brother discovers that he is gay and threatens to kill him, and struggles to find his way in a new country in this powerful documentary.

Khavaj, a young gay Mixed Martial Arts fighter, has fled his birthplace of Chechnya where homophobia is rife and overtly expressed by its leadership. Fearful of the death threats made by his brother, he has moved to Belgium, where he must live in total anonymity. Silent Voice traces Khavaj’s first months in Brussels, where he struggles to adapt to a new identity and tries to regain his ability to speak, lost through the trauma of his predicament.

Silent Voice is a tremendously brave and moving film in which director Reka Valerik follows Khajav as he listens to phone messages from his distraught mother and starts to build a new life. Film festivals in Russia have cancelled screenings of the film, following threats and complaints about the promotion of ‘LGBT values’.

France/Belgium 2020 Dir Reka Valerik 51 min

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