Broken

Directed by Rufus Norris
  • UK
  • 90 minutes
  • 2012
Cillian Murphy, Tim Roth, Rufus Norris, writer Mark O'Rowe and producer Dixie Linder will attend the screening.

Award-winning theatre director Rufus Norris makes his feature debut with Broken, a delicately structured story that has at its core the tale of 11-year-old Skunk (newcomer Eloise Laurence), an innocent young girl who finds herself amidst a group of complex, fractured and often broken people.

Sweet-natured Skunk is friendly with all of her neighbours. As her summer holiday starts, so Skunk’s innocence starts to be chipped away. Her brother Jed (Bill Milner) warns her how dreadful her new school will be; her au pair Kasia (Zana Marjanovic) breaks off her relationship with the genial Mike (Cillian Murphy), while her father Archie (Tim Roth) is attentive and kind, but always busy with work. As a return to school beckons, the warmth of childhood gives way as she finds out her father is having a relationship with Kasia.

Broken spirals into some delightfully staged scenes of darkness as Skunk is placed in a terrible situation and subconsciously has to make a real life-or-death decision. Shot at times with a sense of magical realism, the film is charmingly off-kilter though its eventual lapse into drama lacks the shock value one might expect. It is, though, a bold and nicely sustained debut.

Mark Adams, Screen International