In France, a woman is lost to the violence of her partner every three days. A startling statistic, no doubt, but one that becomes even more unsettling when viewed on a larger scale. Because, of course, domestic violence is hardly contained only within the borders of France – it happens across the world, in pretty little houses situated behind white picket fences with manicured lawns. More often than not, the violence – both physical and emotional – takes place in the private realm, hidden from the public and, therefore, masked from those who may feel compelled to intervene. While many who have never experienced the despair and turmoil connected to domestic violence may be quick to suggest “simply leaving” the abuser, this fails to take into account both the psychological dependence and the outright fear of speaking up or speaking out. Like most things in life, this issue as a whole runs much deeper than what’s seen on the surface layer. Unfortunately, the end result – when no help or outreach is provided – is innocent lives lost to senseless violence.
Paris-based Broken Back appears to recognize the very real fact that “violence against women” is not a “women’s” issue. A man – using that term loosely – taking out anger on his wife is, in actuality, his issue that should be addressed on a range of levels. While women are the victims, the issue lies with each and every one of us. Using his latest release, “She Falls,” as a means of raising the collective awareness, Broken Back shines a light on the ever prominent issue of domestic violence against women.
Throughout “She Falls” and the aesthetically enthralling visual experience that accompanies it, Broken Back works to provide a voice for those who are trapped in fear, silence and helplessness. His delivery almost eerie in essence, the record captures an enveloping aura of painful emotion – it’s tragic, and the tragedy draws from the viewer a plethora of thoughts and emotions. There’s a sense of compassion and a sense of guilt as we’re left wanting to help, wondering what we can do and also questioning our own daily words, choices and actions. One of the most powerful components of “She Falls” is the mirror the release forces each viewer to stare into – it’s uncomfortable, and one must contemplate why it is so unsettling.
Stef and Wyt, who directed the video, do a wondrous job bringing to life the emotive nature of Broken Back’s vocals and instrumentation. Littered with symbolic imagery that works to carry and reveal the weight of the overarching message, the visual treatment is an artistic representation of a woman trapped in the cage of her own fear and silence. Her trauma remains hidden because she is afraid of speaking out, and all the public sees is the illusion of “love,” the mask of her abuser situated firmly upon his fickle face until the front door has been closed. There’s a balanced feeling to the video, although it’s a balance of overwhelmingly dark energies .
Watch the video below.