In Los Angeles, substitute schoolteacher Peter and aspiring writer Lorna are a couple in their twenties making a film documentary. Their subject is a secretive cult led by the mysterious Maggie (Brit Marling), whom they plan to expose as a fraud.
When the cult considers Peter and Lorna ready to meet Maggie, they are made to shower thoroughly and dress in white surgical gowns. Then they are driven blindfolded to a secret basement location and received by Klaus, with whom they exchange a distinctive, intricate handshake, which they have been practicing. Peter and Lorna then join eight other members and meet Maggie, who uses an oxygen tank and implies that the showering and clothing requirements are to avoid aggravating her illness.
Maggie claims to be a time-traveler from the year 2054. She describes the future as riddled with war, famine and struggle, and has come back to select a special band of chosen people to prepare for what lies ahead. She leads the group in a series of intense psychological exercises and tells them about herself and the future, never proving nor disproving her extraordinary claim. Maggie’s charismatic manner is powerful, and both Lorna and Peter have moments in which they waver between skepticism and belief. Lorna is especially concerned when she notices that Peter, who was initially adamant that Maggie was a charlatan, seems to now be intrigued by and even attracted to Maggie.
After several group meetings, Maggie instructs Peter to bring her the eccentric eight-year-old Abigail Pritchett, one of his students. Maggie insists Abigail is her mother, and that Peter and Lorna will be banned from the group if he fails to comply. When Peter admits that he is considering following Maggie’s orders, Lorna is outraged and accuses him of falling for Maggie’s deception. After they argue, Lorna is privately approached by Carol, a woman who identifies herself as a Justice Department agent. Carol tells Lorna that Maggie is wanted for a variety of felonies. Lorna agrees to set Maggie up to be captured and to hide this plan from Peter.
Sound of My Voice is a 2011 American psychological thriller directed by Zal Batmanglij and starring Christopher Denham, Nicole Vicius and Brit Marling. The plot focuses on two documentary filmmakers who attempt to expose a cult led by a charismatic leader (Marling) who claims to be from the future. The film was written by Batmanglij and Marling. It premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. It was also selected to close the 2011 SXSW Film Festival. The film was released by Fox Searchlight Pictures on April 27, 2012.
Sound of My Voice
Directed by: Zal Batmanglij
Starring: Christopher Denham, Nicole Vicius, Brit Marling, Avery Kristen Pohl, Davenia McFadden, Christy Meyers, Constance Wu
Screenplay by: Zal Batmanglij, Brit Marling
Production Design by: Scott Enge
Cinematography by: Rachel Morrison
Film Editing by: Tamara Meem
Costume Design by: Sarah de Sa Rego
Set Decoration by: Alys Thompson
Music by: Rostam Batmanglij
MPAA Rating: R for language including some sexual references, and brief drug use.
Studio: Fox Searchlight Pictures
Release Date: April 27th, 2012
Related Link: Sound of My Voice Movie Full Production Notes