Breaking the Waves

Rated R 158 minutes 1997

A powerful story, set in a remote Scottish village in the early 1970s, about a unique young woman and her profound experience of love and devotion. Bess falls madly in love with Jan, an oil-rig worker, and against the wishes of the strict Calvinist elders of her community, she marries this outsider. Jan is captivated by the innocence radiated by his new bride and for a brief time they have an intensely happy, passionate life together. When Jan returns to the oil-rig, Bess misses him terribly and prays fervently to God to bring him home. Shortly thereafter, Jan is injured in an accident that leaves him paralyzed. Knowing that he will never walk again and devastated that his beautiful, young wife will never make love with him again, Jan misleads Bess by convincing her he can only survive if she takes a lover. Because she is so pure, Bess does what she believes she must in the hope of keeping him alive and soon finds herself in a complicated spiral of love, community and tragedy...

Film Credits

Director: Lars von Trier

Cast: Emily Watson and Skellan Skarsgard

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