12 Jul 2022
Danish Latif, Adam Aziz
There has always been an intriguing dynamic between older and younger siblings. As they grow up their relationship will develop according to individual circumstances. The loss of a parent will often place the older sibling in a replacement role as they nurture and care for the younger ones. They will become emotionally dependant on each other as the relationship takes on an entirely new dimension. But what happens when the younger sibling wants to break away and live their own life? This short film by Zaheer Raja shows that emotional wounds run just as deep when a sibling flies the nest.
Hakeem (Danish Latif) is the older brother, strong and undemonstrative. Following the death of their mother both are forced to quickly grow up. He works to support them both with a quiet stoicism, whilst Waseem (Adam Aziz) can act like the kid brother as he drifts through adolescence. However, times are changing for the brothers as Waseem decides to move on. A letter from the University of Edinburgh drops on the doormat. Waseem is planning to move but his older brother is unaware of his intentions. Hakeem reacts bitterly to the news. His direction and sense of purpose in life is at stake; but will the brothers make peace with each other?
Wounded portrays a calm and affecting picture of family life that transcends all cultural barriers. We all want to feel needed; to know others depend on us is in many ways, a validation of our own existence. But when the time comes for change the carer is unprepared for the loss of status and fears the consequences. Hakeem realises his younger brother no longer needs him in the same way. He is confronted with an emotional loose end and the prospect of real loneliness.
There are no startling revelations about this piece; similar scenes are being played out for real in families across the globe. But the narrative captures feelings that are tangible and instantly relatable. The only discernible weak spot is that the film makes its essential point very early on, and does nothing to fill the space inadvertently left open. Even so, this is a thoughtful and intelligent film with real heart.