BREAKING THE WAVES

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Cast

Emily Watson
Stellan Skarsgård
Katrin Cartlidge

Director

Lars von Trier

Producer

Axel Helgeland, Peter Aalbæk Jensen, Lars Jönsson, Rob Langestraat, Marianne Slot, Peter van Vogelpoel, Vibeke Windeløv,

Genres

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Film synopsis

A naive woman living in a remote Calvinist community on the Scottish coast, Bess (Emily Watson in a stunning debut) flaunts the will of the town’s austere churchmen to marry Jan, a lusty Swede working in a nearby offshore oil rig. Her purity is put to the ultimate test when Jan is crippled in an accident and she agrees to continue their love-making vicariously through other men. Pilloried as a harlot, Bess is committed to the asylum; but not before she seeks Jan’s recovery through one final act of faith. Captured through Robby Mueller’s (Paris, Texas) raw, relentless hand-held camera, this triumphant tale of tragedy, faith and redemption – the first in Von Trier’s “Golden Heart” trilogy on saintly heroines book-ended by Dancer in the Dark – is a cinematic tour de force.

Running time

154 Minutes

Year of production

1996

Classification

Medium Level Sex Scenes, Adult Themes