Review: Northern Film School’s Shattered is the perfect short piece to be built upon for the silver screen

By Luke Pawley

Leicester-born film producer Oliver Duffy has, alongside colleague Nicholas Teslich, brought to life a spectacular yet horrifying story of the effect the Holocaust had on a young Jewish woman and her family in 1940s Netherlands. 

Northern Film School’s ‘Shattered’ is a film worthy of extrapolation to the big screen.

Ilse (portrayed by Ebony Hiley) is worried about Hitler’s regime when a Nazi officer approaches her on the street and confiscates her bike. What does this mean for her and her brother? 

There is a flow of underlying tension throughout the piece, which is not lost by the short, intricate scenes of dialogue sprinkled either side Ilse and her brother’s bloody, horrific train journey to Auschwitz. 

Duffy and his colleagues – including writer Brogan Waller-Parkinson, director Teresa Moorhead and co-producer Nicholas Teslich – have negotiated the challenges of short film masterfully. 

Once hooked by the neatly told story of the piece, it is hard to believe that the production only runs for 11 minutes. The team behind this film have paid close attention to details, including hair, makeup and costume, which ensure that viewer attention remains unbroken for its duration. 

After bravely surviving the concentration camp for several years, Ilse returns home to have her heart shattered by the revelation that her close friend’s mother betrayed her. 

The final scene is beautifully written and, coupled with a powerful message which appears on screen at the end of the film, provokes a period of thought and reflection for its viewers. 

The final message reads: “This film is dedicated to all those whose lives were shattered during the Holocaust and all genocides since. 

“For those who continue to make a stand against intolerance, bigotry and hate. 

“We cannot repeat the mistakes of the past. 

“Evil does not die.” 

Shattered is an exemplary short film which left a burning desire to see Ilse’s story played out over two hours. This production is the perfect story to be extrapolated onto the silver screen. 

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