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Breaking the Waves (1996) - movie overview

Breaking the Waves (1996)

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(226 votes)
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Trivia (5)
Plot Description
Shooting Locations

Release Date
• USA: Nov 13, 1996
DVD Release Date
• R1: Feb 1, 2000

MPAA Rating
Rated R for strong graphic sexuality, nudity, language and some violence.

Running Time
2 hours, 39 minutes

Country Denmark | Sweden | France | Netherlands | Norway | Iceland

Production Companies
Argus Film Produktie, Arte, Canal+, CoBo Fonds, Det Danske Filminstitut, Eurimages, European Script Fund, Finnish Film Foundation, Icelandic Film (as Icelandic Film Corporation), La Sept Cinéma, Liberator Productions, Lucky Red, Media Investment Club, Memfis Film

Studio Argus Film Produktie, La Sept Cinema, Liberator Productions, Northern, October Films, Trust Film Svenska AB, Zentropa Entertainments ApS

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Other Titles
• Breaking the Waves (1996)
• Amor omnie
• more

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Genre: Drama, Marriage, Erotic, Surreal, Religion, Love, Infidelity, Doctor, Prostitution, Melodrama, Psychodrama, Disturbing

Tagline: Love is a mighty power.

Plot: Danish director Lars von Trier’s BREAKING THE WAVES is a sweeping romantic fable that is photographed like a low-budget documentary, resulting in a strikingly original motion picture from one of contemporary cinema’s most distinct visionaries. Bess (Emily Watson) is a shy young woman living in a small Scottish shore town. When she meets Jan (Stellan Skarsgard), the two immediately fall in love. Jan is a rig worker who immediately embraces Bess’s absolute innocence. Soon after, they are married. Their magical existence comes to a crashing halt when Jan is forced to return to sea for an extended period of time. In a series of intense dialogues with God, Bess begs for Jan’s return back to shore immediately, and when Jan is paralyzed in a freak accident, her wish is granted. Convinced that her prayers caused Jan’s tragedy, Bess devotes her life to redeeming herself however she can. Jan insists that she experience sexual relations with a series of strangers, relating to him her escapades. Obeying his wish, she begins to see that her actions are restoring Jan’s health, sparking her into committing one reckless final sacrifice. Watson delivers one of the most stunningly naked screen debuts in screen history, filling BREAKING THE WAVES with an intensity that is tragic, yet somehow

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 Directed by
Lars von Trier
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 Written by
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 Music By



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