Released in Holland as Gebroken Spiegels, Broken Mirrors is set for the most part in an Amsterdam brothel. Lineke Ripman and Henriette Tol play two whores who begin to rebel against their ...
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Three women, all strangers to each other, meet in a dress boutique. One of the three is approached by the male proprietor as she is shoplifting a garment. When he approaches her the other ... See full summary »
During Stalin's reign of terror, Evgenia Ginzburg, a literature professor, was sent to 10 years hard labor in a gulag in Siberia. Having lost everything, and no longer wishing to live, she meets the camp doctor and begins to come back to life.
Released in Holland as Gebroken Spiegels, Broken Mirrors is set for the most part in an Amsterdam brothel. Lineke Ripman and Henriette Tol play two whores who begin to rebel against their lot in life. Their story is counterpointed by a subplot involving housewife Edda Barends, who is kidnapped by one of the brothel's customers; as Barends starves to death, her captor takes photographs of her last days on earth. Somehow her demise is meant to be as much a "liberation" as Ripman and Tol's refusal to continue plying their trade. Throughout Broken Mirrors, the male characters are depicted as murderers, both literal and spiritual.
There's a moment early in the film when one of the more seasoned prostitutes of Club Happy House tells a new employee, "All men are bastards. Even the nice ones aren't nice," and everything that follows repeats the same theme without variation, striking a single note with sledgehammer finesse for nearly two hours. In between scenes of oppressed whores going about their business is an ongoing, unrelated episode showing a faceless (male) kidnapper brutalizing his helpless but noble (female) victim by chaining her to a rusted cot and taking Polaroid snapshots of her slow disintegration. Writer director Marleen Gorris certainly has a chip on her shoulder, but any criticism of her film (no matter how valid) by a member of the wrong sex runs the risk of looking like a typical knee-jerk over-reaction. Sure, and those viewers who champion the film will no doubt recommend it for its impartial wisdom and subtle artistry?
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