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Review: Broken Hearts
by Karen Pecota

Alessandra Lichtenfeld, USA 2022

A short film at the Slamdance Film Festival 2022 in the Unstoppable program under the direction and screenwriting talent of filmmaker Alessandra Lichtenfeld who collaborates with screenwriter Max Kaplow, BROKEN HEARTS brings to life the emotions of two young teens hospitalized for serious medical conditions.

What is it like for teenagers with congenital heart disease who have to wait for treatment as they spend days on end hospitalized? Lichtenfeld gives us one story of two young teens who take one day away from the hospital to control their every adventure. The hazards are great but to breathe fresh air is worth every consequence.

Indigo Johnson (Maye Harris) and Sarah (Ellie Adrean) break out of the hospital to be normal teenagers that live outside the confines of their intense medical routine. Indigo has congenital heart disease (CDC), and desperately wants to get her ears pierced, but hasn't been allowed to because it could cause a life-threatening heart infection. Sarah, a CDC survivor awaiting a heart transplant in a few days, decides to break away from overprotective parents to live like never before—for just one day. The two enjoy running down the street, laughing together in the fresh air, getting a piercing, a manicure, and more while thankful their friendship has allowed them a much-needed adventure as young rebels with a cause.