Renewing Family Bonds Can Heal Family Grief
Release Date: March 12, 2004
Audience: Older teenagers and adults
Runtime: 86 minutes
Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics
Producer: Assaf Amir
Address Comments To:Michael Barker, Tom Bernard and Marcie Bloom
Sony Pictures Classics
550 Madison Avenue, 8th Floor
New York, NY 10022
Phone: (212) 833-8833
Web Page: www.spe.sony.com
Nine months after her husband died, 43-year-old Dafna has just gone back to work as a night shift hospital midwife. Her 16-year-old son, Yair, devastated by the loss of his father, has dropped out of school and retreated into nihilism. There is no God, everything is meaningless, and we are all just specks of dust, Yair complains. Dafna’s other son, 11-year-old Ido, deals with his own pent-up aggression by practicing long jumps into an empty swimming pool. Meanwhile, his younger sister, Bahr, age six, begins a lonely first day at kindergarten.
So, while her mother works, and Yair disappears to distribute flyers on the subway, it’s up to 17-year-old Maya to act as surrogate mother for the two younger children. Maya is extremely unhappy about this situation, however. No one wants to listen to her opportunity to get out of the working class doldrums when a record producer expresses interest in a powerful song she’s written about her father. When Maya forgets to pick up little Bahr at school, it sows the seeds for another potential tragedy in the family.
BROKEN WINGS is not just a family drama, it’s also a drama about two lost youths, Maya and Yair, who have trouble coping with their own loss of their father, much less with their mother’s loss of a loving husband. Faced with such powerful grief and anger, their mother, Dafna, seems powerless to help. In the end, however, blood is thicker than water, and family bonds, including a fond memory of the father and husband, saves the family from breaking apart. To sum it all up, the movie teaches viewers that renewing family bonds can help heal the loss one feels after losing a loved one.
Although less comical overall, BROKEN WINGS is similar to the MOVIEGUIDE® Award-winning movie IN AMERICA from 2003. Both movies conjure up a great deal of sympathy for both their children and adult characters. Regrettably, however, unlike IN AMERICA, the moral worldview in BROKEN WINGS is not religious, although it implicitly rebukes the atheist comments from the elder son.
BROKEN WINGS also contains some very strong foul language. There are also scenes of teenage sensuality, although nothing is consummated on-screen other than some brief rear male nudity, implied female nudity, and a few passionate kisses. Finally, one of Yair’s school friends contemplates suicide and a minor teenage character offers marijuana to Maya after smoking some himself, but the movie never shows her taking up on his offer. In the second scene, Maya gets naked with the boy under some bed covers, but decides against sex.
Thus, because of these mature elements, BROKEN WINGS deserves extreme caution.
Not just a family drama, BROKEN WINGS is also about two lost teenagers who have trouble coping with their own grief and loss, much less with their mother’s. The movie expertly conjures up a great deal of sympathy for both Maya and her mother, whose troubled relationship is the primary focus. In the end, family bonds, including a fond memory of the father, saves the family from breaking apart. BROKEN WINGS demands extreme caution for this well-written and well-acted drama because it contains some strong foul language and light references to teenage sensuality and thoughts of suicide.