Last night I watched Her Master’s Voice a documentary by UK ventriloquist Nina Conti. The story starts with Conti struggling with the decision to leave ventriloquism despite ten successful years behind her. When she finally musters the strength to tell her teacher and mentor Ken Campbell she is shocked to discover that he has passed away. The film then follows Conti, never without side kick Monk, as she takes the bereaved puppets of her mentor on a pilgrimage to ‘Vent Haven’ the resting place for puppets of dead ventriloquists.
The film is surreal, beautiful and even at times a touch unsettling. Conti created the entire film; directing and producing it herself (it was only picked up by the BBC after winning an audience award at this year’s SXSW). It’s a raw and direct film that examines relationships, love and the insanity of creativity.
It’s available on iPlayer and I highly recommend watching while you can.