For co-writers Zal Batmanglij and Brit Marling, making SOUND OF MY VOICE wasn’t just a labor of love, but one of passion. Batmaglij directed and Marling stars as Maggie, the enigmatic leader of a cult who claims to have come from the future to save her followers in a film that lets the audience decide what is real and what is fantasy. When I spoke to the pair by phone on April 26, 2012, I was curious about how they had made a first-rate film for what is usually spent on catering for a mid-range film, and why the LaBrea Tar Pits were the perfect location for a decisive moment in the story. The conversation turned to the nature of belief, why people in general are both repulsed and fascinated by the idea of an apocalypse, and the odd way Marling found just the right voice for Maggie.
SOUND OF MY VOICE is a seductive story about the power of cults, of belief, and of being caught off guard. Marling plays Maggie, an enigmatic cult leader who claims to be from the future and has come back in time to save a handful of followers from the coming apocalypse. Infiltrating her cult are Peter and Lorna, a couple with psychic wounds from their respective childhoods who are hoping to give their adult lives meaning by producing a documentary about Maggie and her followers. Things don’t go as planned when Peter starts falling under Maggie’s spell, and Lorna is unable to follow. Batmanglij directed from a script he co-wrote with Marling. Marling was last seen in the philosophically dense and challenging ANOTHER EARTH.