May 19, 1997 12:00 PM

Aleksandra Vujcic, Rade Serbedzija, Julian Arahanga

A Croatian refugee waitress (Vujcic) and a Maori cook (Arahanga) fall in love in present-day New Zealand and move in together. Her overprotective father (Serbedzija) lashes out against his daughter’s new boyfriend—which amounts to one outsider objecting to another (though the Maoris called New Zealand home long before European settlers arrived in the 18th century). Director Gregor Nicholas’s debut, Broken English offers an old story made new by its setting and characters and compelling performances from Arahanga (Once Were Warriors), Serbedzija (The Saint) and especially the voluptuous Vujcic. (NC-17)

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