Broken Wings (review)

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How refreshing is it to see a movie about Israel that isn’t about terrorism or religion? So refreshing that this cozy little film about domestic strife, motherly exasperation, and sibling warfare feels fresher than the much-explored ground it covers. Dafna Ulman (Orly Silbersatz Banai) struggles alone to raise her four children in a small Haifa apartment after the recent death of their father, and while she’s working the night shift as a midwife at a local hospital, 17-year-old Maya (the radiant, astute Maya Maron) acts as surrogate mother for her younger siblings even while she herself juggles school and a budding career as a singer/songwriter. Delicately realized by a cast that’s winsome and warm and by director Nir Bergman, whose deft, honest touch prevents even an ounce of melodrama or mawkishness from settling in, this is a powerfully universal story of home and family that will be instantly recognizable across cultures and nations.

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