Director – Marleen Gorris (A Question of Silence, The Last Island)
Starring – Lineke Rijxman (Accused, Speech), Henriette Tol (Happy Single, Flying Kicks), and Edda Barends (The Assault, The Attic: The Hiding of Anne Frank)
Release Date – 1984
Rating – 4/5
Blu Release – 3/5
Several months back I was lucky enough to review the dark drama/thriller A Question of Silence. Cult Epics released this Marleen Gorris directed film on blu and I as lucky enough to get a copy for review. While it may not be a film that I could see myself revisiting, I still enjoyed it and could see the historical impact this feminist film from the Netherlands not only had in it’s home country but the world over.
A few weeks back Cult Epics was kind enough to send over another Marleen Gorris release. This time it’s another dark drama/thriller from 1984 titled Broken Mirrors. This was another first time watch that I was really looking forward to. I want to thank Cult Epics and MVD for sending this one over!
**Spoiler Alert** The film follows two working girls who are employed in an Amsterdam brothel. They are tired of the work and how low women are treated. While thinking about a much different and better life they could have. In the basement of the brothel is an old cot where a patron chains and starves women and records their demise for his own sadistic pleasure. **Spoiler Alert**
Broken Mirrors is another fantastic piece of feminist cinema that almost plays out like two stories that cross paths to become one coherent film. It’s beautifully written and still have that dark and bleak atmosphere that horror fans can truly appreciate. I did enjoy this one more than A Question of Silence and can see myself revisiting this one again especially if I’m in the mood for bleak serial killer films like Zodiac and Se7en.
The acting in this one is great. The cast is consistent with no one overshadowing the other along with no weak links. The cast works very well together and their interactions do feel long winded but they are convincing. I really liked the casting and I would have loved to see a follow up of sorts with the same cast. The story for this one has so many layers but in essence we have a film that shows how women are used for men’s pleasure. They are degraded, abused, and tortured all for the satisfaction of men. While this speaks volumes on the social aspect of how women have been treated for centuries, and still has been, it still creates an effective thriller. It’s unnerving how both aspects of this film are still part of our society.
Finally, the film is not a bloody or violent film. It’s a character piece that focuses more on story and locations than effects and blood. Overall, Broken Mirrors is a film that sticks with you. Not only is a gritty and bleak thriller but it has so much to say about society as a whole. This is another important release from Cult Epics that you need to add to your collection.
4K HD Transfer (from the original 35 negative) & Restoration
Audio Commentary by Film Scholar Peter Verstraten
Interview with US Sex Worker Margo St. James (Adriaan van disc/Cinema 3, 1984)