Review: Bror min – Brother of Mine (2002)

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Bror min – Brother of Mine (2002)

Directed by: Jens Johnsson | 10 minutes | drama, short film | Actors: Lena B. Eriksson, Leif Andrée, Henrik Lundström, Jonas Lindquist

Jens Jonsson’s short film ‘Bror min’ is about two brothers with divorced parents. The eldest stares bored and grumpy and the youngest plays the gameboy when their mother takes them to their father. Nobody seems very enthusiastic about it and the atmosphere is depressed. Sure enough, as soon as they arrive at their father’s house, the conflicts start again. Nearly lifeless apathy gives way to silly bickering between Mom and Dad. They probably don’t even know what it’s about. The two brothers wait in the car and seem hardly interested. But the disturbed relationship does not miss its effect on the two boys. The older brother starts a cruel bullying. Whether his brother has sex with their mother or something. If he doesn’t give in, he threatens to hurt him with a blazing hot cigarette lighter. The youngest struggles and screams, but his older brother doesn’t seem to mind. Meanwhile, the parents continue to argue outside.

Why the cruel bullying, is the question Jonsson raises. Is the oldest brother just a little sadist who doesn’t care how his brother feels? Has he not been taught how evil are the things he says and does? Or does he really care about his young, still innocent brother. Maybe he’s trying to harden him for the unforgiving world around him, where even parents are blind to their children’s feelings.

There are no uninteresting themes that Jonsson broaches in ‘Bror min’. Yet something is gnawing here. The eldest brother is so unusually hard-hearted that it is hard to imagine that this is about selfless love, a little sympathetic traits wouldn’t have gone amiss. Or maybe we are just tired of dysfunctional families by now and a slightly fresher approach would have been more effective. Cinematographically, everything is fine, by the way. The images are shot in an appropriate style, as if you are actually a spectator of what is happening. The improvised music contributes to an oppressively disoriented feeling.

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