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Over the past few years, Israeli movies have steadily improved, dealing with more challenging stories and featuring better and better production value. One common theme across those films is of course their focus on political issues and the preoccupations of all Israelis. However, the strongest link is their very strong focus on simple yet profound human relationships and emotions, and they go pretty far. It's been hard for me not to be emotionally affected by most of those movies i have seen so far such as Nina's Tragedies (2003) or Walk On Water (2004).
Broken Wings (2002) is no different. It focuses on the life of a family living in Haifa, Israel, and making ends meet as best possible. The father died unexpectedly recently, and Dafna tries as best she can to cope with her new reality as a single mom and her four children, two of which are older teenagers dealing with their own problems. Life is hard and the love-hate relationship between the older daughter and her is very tough. Only when another tragic event hits will the family heal its wounds and find a new cohesion.
Although it's hard to categorize the film as a tear-jerker because of its real emotional complexity and the richness of its characters, you'll nevertheless bawl your eyes out, especially during the very strong and conclusive scene. This is a beautiful movie, with arresting performances, dreamy cinematography and music, and an intricate look at family life. The underlying political message gives the film further dimension as it is hard not to look at this father-less family as a metaphor for post-Yitzhak Rabin Israel.
- Laurent Hasson