11 user 23 critic

Broken English (1996)

NC-17 | | Drama, Romance | 2 May 1997 (USA)
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 ... See full summary »


Gregor Nicholas
7 wins. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Rade Serbedzija ... Ivan
Aleksandra Vujcic ... Nina
Julian Arahanga ... Eddie
Marton Csokas ... Darko
Madeline McNamara Madeline McNamara ... Mira
Jing Zhao Jing Zhao ... Clara
Li Yang Li Yang ... Wu
Elizabeth Mavric Elizabeth Mavric ... Vanya
Temuera Morrison ... Manu
Michael Langley Michael Langley ... Jura
Morena Tutuguro Morena Tutuguro ... Sashka
Mona Ross Mona Ross ... Auntie Marja
Barbara Cartwright Barbara Cartwright ... Jasmin
Patrick Wilson Patrick Wilson ... Dave
Greg Johnson Greg Johnson ... Doug


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 <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Sometimes when you make love you make war.


Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated NC-17 for explicit sexuality | See all certifications »


Official Sites:

Sony Pictures Classics


New Zealand

Release Date:

2 May 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Broken English See more »

Filming Locations:

Auckland, New Zealand See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$34,029, 4 May 1997, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$476,070, 6 July 1997
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


[On the desire to have a baby]
Clara: We want to make a little kiwi.
See more »

Alternate Versions

A graphic sex scene was cut to be re-rated R. Complete NC-17 edition is available on video. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Sexy and entertaining
6 December 2005 | by nixar55See all my reviews

This movie was hard to track down. Living as I do in America, I had to order a VHS copy. I saw the NC-17 version, by the way, which I didn't find to be too graphic. The sex scene was extremely sexy and I thought the actors playing Nina and Eddie, the young couple at the center of the movie, had a ton of chemistry. You could believe they were attracted to each other. Nina, the Croation daughter of Ivan, was an interesting character: a wild rebel and a scared child eager to remain her father's favorite all in one. The actor who played Ivan did the best job, as a man who fled his homeland due to ethnic cleansing and finds himself obsessed with race and dissatisfied with his new life in New Zealand. The beginning half of this movie was more enjoyable than the latter half, when the story devolves into a slightly predictable romantic comedy and none of the interesting implications about class, race, and family are dealt with in a serious way. However, a lot of romantic movies never even ask the audience to think about anything greater at all, so Broken English still comes out ahead of more traditional movie fare. Perhaps it's because this movie comes from the producers of "Once Were Warriors" which is one of my favorite dramas of all time. Watch for the romance between Nina and Eddie (played by Julien Arahanga from "Once Were Warriors",) Ivan, and Martin Csokas' portrayal of Ivan's menacing son.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 11 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed