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What to know: Provides insight into the circumstances of broken families, but also has a compelling love story.
BROKEN SOULS is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
Recommended age 12-18
45 minutes
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This short provides insight into the circumstances of broken families. There's tragedy, economic struggles and the effects on war. It follows the life of Priscilla, who suffers from addiction as a way to cope with loss. It also shows how cycles can repeat themselves over generations. I find this film appealing because it starts with a love story. It has a realistic feel when it comes to supporting a growing family. Although the fairytale fades away, it kept me feeling engaged and empathetic for the characters. The storyline is intriguing. I wanted to find out how and why Priscilla has such pain. I like that there are multiple families that share the experiences of loss. Many children and adults could learn from or connect with these stories. I found the content quite good. There are some tight shots where the actors appear a bit out of frame. Some scene changes also have hard cuts, such as the kitchen scene. Some outside audio is choppy as it merges with the background music. I like the music selection and found myself dancing with the "Let's Boogie" dance crew at the intro. There is a great visual effect i the escalator scene. The costumes are suitable for the story lie. My most favorite is the dance group, officer/inmate, and Priscilla's attire. I enjoyed the visuals in the outdoor scenes of the park, mall and the West Oakland sign. The crew was creative with the pharmacy and Afghanistan scenes. The music enhances the emotion of each scene. There are some choppy lower audio transitions. I really like the special effects with the flashbacks and the black & white filter during the romance scenes. My favorite actors are Priscilla, Nick and Sophia. I found the range of emotions shown to be believable and realistic. Nick really displays advanced emotions at such a young age. My favorite scene is when the pharmacist joins Priscilla and connects with her. The message warns us how war and the prison system can damage not only its prisoners, but all those involved. It sheds a light on how various communities need more resources - ways to help vets find employment, affordable therapy and programs that help them cope with depression. This short made me think about how little resources can cause big circumstances. I give this film 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. Note of caution there is a brief bare butt scene. I do recommend it for the KIDS FIRST! Film Festivals. This film touches on some very real-life circumstances that shouldn't be ignored. It's a great conversation starter when it comes to loss, abuse, war and depression. This film has special interest for interracial and military families. Reviewed by Elle S., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
Priscilla Smith's sanity is tested when she is separated from her beloved husband Adolph who is called for military service in Afghanistan. Left to raise their only child Sophia alone, Priscilla struggles with self-esteem issues and hopelessly uses prescription drugs to help her cope with the emptiness she feels in a community that has lost its men to war and prisons.
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