Listen: Review

Listen: Review

Bela (Lúcia Moniz) and Jota (Ruben Garcia) are a Portuguese couple living in the UK. They have three children, baby Jessy, teenager Diego (James Felner) and Lu (Maisie Sly) who is at primary school. Although despite their family dynamic they are struggling financially and Bela isn’t coping too well.

Then one day Lu’s school contacts her parents and they are concerned about bruises that they find on her back and before Bela and Jota can get a grip on the situation, the police are called. This turns their family upside down as their children are taken away and put into care, leaving Bela feeling depressed and anxious and both parents feeling totally helpless.

Listen is a Portuguese film directed by Ana Rocha which talks about a situation that immigrants may face in the UK or perhaps in any other part of the world. Showing their lives before it descends into chaos, the family are just like anybody else and the audience may soon find themselves sympathising with them as things get worse. Also, Lu is deaf, as is actress Maisie Sly who is better known for appearing in Oscar winning short film, The Silent Child.



However, Listen is not a film that is designed to show its audience a depiction of unfair authorities getting above themselves despite their best intentions, neither is it a film meant to tug at the heart strings of its audience. Instead, it’s a film that realistically portrays what happens during a simple misunderstanding that could happen in a broken system.

A candidate for the Best International Feature Film for the Oscars in 2021, only to be disqualified for it being mostly in the English language, Listen lays it all out for its audience and shows the realities from both sides. It seems to be very carefully researched in order to not show any bias either, so if the audience thinks that the system is unfair, then that’s how it probably is for real.

Moniz is the heart of the film and gives a great performance as a mother on the edge who will do anything to get back her children. A particular shame then that the film’s exclusion from the Oscars will not highlight her talent.

Also, for many it will not be an easy thing to watch, especially for those with children, but it may help some to understand and empathise with immigrants who just want a good life.


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Joel found out that he had a talent for absorbing film trivia at a young age. Ever since then he has probably watched more films than the average human being, not because he has no filter but because it’s one of the most enjoyable, fulfilling and enriching experiences that a person can have. He also has a weak spot for bad sci-fi/horror movies because he is a huge geek and doesn’t care who knows it.

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