"When a woman has love," Veronica Casey has written, "she is no longer at the mercy of forces greater than herself, for she, herself, becomes the powerful force." This truth is vividly illustrated in Broken English, a New Zealand film written and directed by Gregor Nicholas. Nina (Aleksandra Vujcic) and her family have fled war-torn Croatia and settled down in Auckland, New Zealand. Her resourceful and domineering father Ivan (Rade Serbedzija) runs a drug-smuggling operation. He has hopes of bringing other relatives to his new homeland.

Nina's independence and strong will are very attractive to Eddie (Julian Arahanga), a Maori who cooks at the restaurant where she works as a waitress. Their love is passionate and fierce. It arouses the ire of Ivan who is obsessed with controlling the future of his daughters. His clan also looks down on Maori people. This film explores the explosive power of cross-cultural love and the ways one passionate woman finds to escape the prison of prejudice.