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Ivan is the fierce patriarch of a family of Croatian refugees in Auckland. Nina is his daughter, ready to live on her own, despite his angry objections. Eddie is the Maori she takes as her lover. Nina works at a restaurant where Eddie cooks. For a price, she agrees to marry a Chinese, another restaurant employee, so that he (and his Chinese wife) can establish permanent residency. The money gives her the independence she needs to leave her parents' house and move in with Eddie. Complications arise when Eddie realizes the depth of her father's fury and the strength of Nina's family ties. Written by
The plot of "Broken English" is easy to summarize:
Boy and girl meet. Boy and girl like each other. Girl's father is violent and jealous. Father hates boy. Boy must subdue father. Boy fights father and wins. (Unfortunately, boy accidently runs over father's vicious but hapless dog in the process.) Boy and girl live happily ever after.
The video jacket says "Broken English" was made by the producers of "Once Were Warriors." Many of the two movies' elements are similar (notably the primitive father in each), though this one has only about one-fifth the quantity of stomach-churning violence of the greatly overrated "Once Were Warriors." But in both movies, the father exhibits much violently stupid behavior, and midway through this one I wondered, "Why don't the police just lock the guy up?" I gave "Broken English" a rating of six.
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