Former stage director, Broken is the first feature length film by British director Rufus Norris. Making a brave choice to yet again portray the social reality of the British Islands by gathering its stereotypes in a single neighborhood, Norris somehow succeeds in finding a new and special approach. Based on a novel by Daniel Clay, the story told is one of a lively girl called Skunk. In her early teens she discovers the complicated relationships of adults around her and tackles the new experiences coming her way with an emotional openness and curiosity unparalleled by any of the people around her. It is the story of innocence meeting a harsh reality and the way life throws curveballs from the get-go, making the choices and actions of people both morally and socially controversial, whatever their intentions might be. Shot in a realistic style and yet retaining the eclectic surrealism of ones childhood memories, the often unbelievable and grotesque occurrences manage to come together into a warm and hopeful drama of the human condition. Bringing together old and new talents such as Tim Roth and Eloise Laurence, the superbly acted and stylishly executed film leaves you with a fresh sense of profound insights. In the words of the director himself: "compassion is not weak, it is what makes us human".
by Greta Varts (Estonia)