|Global Visions film, "Broken Wings," is April 17|
The seventh film of this season's Global Visions film series, "Broken Wings," will be shown at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 17, in the Lecture Bowl, Memorial Union. The film is free and open to the public. This award-winning film by Israeli film director Nir Bergman, winner of nine prizes at the Israeli Academy Awards, tells an intimate and universal coming of age story set within a dysfunctional, mourning family. So it's a small miracle that Israeli director Nir Bergman has populated his first feature film with people whose fate comes to matter.
"Broken Wings" is set in Haifa and Tel Aviv, but little is made of the turmoil roiling that part of the world. A personal catastrophe, the movie quietly says, looms larger than anything, no matter how horrific, on the outside. The Ullmans are in shell shock over the recent death of the family patriarch. The subtle script (written by the gifted Bergman, a one-man band who also served as lyricist on the theme song) waits until almost the end to reveal that he died because he was somewhere he shouldn't have been at the request of one of his kids. On such cruel twists of fate do people's fragile lives turn.
Fueled by richly detailed performances from Zilverschatz-Banay and Maron, mother and daughter come to dominate the movie just as they dominate the family. Maron has the chameleon quality of a budding Meryl Streep, going from pretty to plain and happy to sad in the blink of an eye.
Zilverschatz-Banay, a prominent Israeli stage actress, captures that distracted look of sleep-deprived people. Her face registers Dafna's pain at having to yell at her children, but she has no time to discipline them any other way. Exhibiting no apparent vanity, Zilverschatz-Banay allows us to see the extent to which Dafna has given up on her appearance. She is barely able to attend to basic personal hygiene. So when Dafna bothers to put on makeup -- to do a video singles ad, her halfhearted attempt to meet someone -- the effect is startling. She looks like she's hiding under a mask.
Black humor is evident in the video scene. The "director" asks Dafna to say something about herself, and she blurts out that she's 43 and has four kids. When he suggests she alter her age to 39, she looks directly into the camera and says, "I have 39 children." Surely she must feel like the old woman who lives in the shoe who had so many children she didn't know what to do. But Dafna does know what to do -- she unconditionally loves her kids. That may not be all they need, but it can fix a lot of broken parts, even wings.
The series is sponsored by the Department of Anthropology and the Anthropology Club and is organized by Marcia Mikulak. The series is funded by the Multicultural Awareness Committee.
-- Marcia Mikulak, Assistant Professor, Anthropology, email@example.com, 777-4718