"Renewing Family Bonds Can Heal Family Grief"
BROKEN WINGS is an excellent family drama from Israel about a working class family struggling with tragedy and death. Although some of the movie’s content is as rough as the low-budget photography, the movie is extraordinarily moving.
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.
(BB, H, Ab, LL, V, S, NN, A, DD, M) Strong moral worldview supports strong family bonds, and one character’s humanist, nihilistic, anti-God talk is eventually rebuked, but not explicitly; about 16 obscenities (including some “f” words) and one “for God’s sake”; light violence includes daughter and mother slap one another, implied birth scene as woman screams in pain, and fall places boy into coma; teenage girl gets naked with boy under covers but decides against sex, teenage boy takes off clothes when suicidal teenage girlfriend strips to underwear and contemplates suicide after he makes a mean remark to her, teenagers kiss standing up during scene that implies they’re nude, and 17-year-old girl tells woman that 24-year-old friend is her boyfriend; implied female nudity under covers and when teenager’s long hair covers her breasts, plus rear male nudity; no alcohol, smoking and marijuana use briefly depicted; and, teenage rebellion and mother has trouble coping alone with her four children.
BROKEN WINGS is an excellent drama from Israel about family tragedy and loss. Nine months after their father died, 17-year-old Maya and her younger brother Yair, age 16, still grieve. Yair retreats into atheist nihilism, so it’s up to Maya to act as surrogate mother for the two younger children when her mother returns to work. Maya is extremely unhappy about this situation, however, especially when her mother seems not to care about Maya’s own needs. Maya forgets to pick up her little sister after school, which sows the seeds for another potential family tragedy.
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.