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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.
|Medium Level Sex Scenes, Adult Themes|