Breaking the Waves

Synopsis: Drama set in a repressed, deeply religious community in the north of Scotland, where a naive young woman named Bess McNeil meets and falls in love with Danish oil-rig worker Jan. Bess and Jan are deeply in love but, when Jan returns to his rig, Bess prays to God that he returns for good. Jan does return, his neck broken in an accident aboard the rig. Because of his condition, Jan and Bess are now unable to enjoy a sexual relationship and Jan urges Bess to take another lover and tell him the details. As Bess becomes more and more deviant in her sexual behavior, the more she comes to believe that her actions are guided by God and are helping Jan recover.
Genre: Drama
Director(s): Lars von Trier
Production: Artisan Entertainment
  Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 42 wins & 27 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
159 min

something more romantic.

This is lovely.

You sure?

No. Have me.

What do I do?


You got blood on your dress.

Shall I go down

and wait for you?

You ok?



Take care of yourself.

Go get her now, Jan!

Go get her, Jan!

Every day I spend my time

Drinking wine, feeling fine

Waiting here to find the sign

That I can understand

yes, I am

In the days between the hours

Ivory towers,...

...bloody flowers

Push their heads into the air

I don't care if I ever know

there I go

Don't push your love too far

Can't get this fucker open.


Da da da

Da da da

What's so funny?

Da da da


How could you take it?

How could you keep

away from the boys?

I waited for you.

No. Don't laugh.


But you must

have been lonely.

Who did you talk to?

I thank you for

the greatest gift of all:

the gift of love.

I thank you for Jan.

I'm so lucky to have been

given these gifts.

But remember to be

a good girl, Bess,...

...for you know I giveth

and I taketh away.

What? I didn't mean it

like that.

Yes. I'll be good.

I'll be really, really good.

Thank you.

What did you say?

Thank you.




Hello, Jan.




Why don't you have

any church bells?

We do not need bells in

our church to worship God.

I like church bells.

Let's put them back again.

Have fun.

But now, friends,...

...things have become

very different.

It hurts me

to have to say it,...

...but there appears to be

those in the church...

...who are prepared to

cling to the world...

...instead of fleeing from it.

But those to whom I refer...

...will know what I

am speaking about.

It grieves my heart,...

...and I know there are others...

...who feel just the same.


Mr. Donald John Beaton, will you

rise and address the question?

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Lars von Trier

Lars von Trier (born Lars Trier; 30 April 1956) is a Danish film director and screenwriter with a prolific and controversial career spanning almost four decades. His work is known for its genre and technical innovation; confrontational examination of existential, social, and political issues; and his treatment of subjects such as mercy, sacrifice, and mental health.Among his more than 100 awards and 200 nominations at film festivals worldwide, von Trier has received: the Palme d'Or (for Dancer in the Dark), the Grand Prix (for Breaking the Waves), the Prix du Jury (for Europa), and the Technical Grand Prize (for The Element of Crime and Europa) at the Cannes Film Festival. In March 2017, he began filming The House That Jack Built, an English-language serial killer thriller.Von Trier is the founder and shareholder of the international film production company Zentropa Films, which has sold more than 350 million tickets and garnered seven Academy Award nominations over the past 25 years. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Breaking the Waves" STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 30 Nov. 2020. <>.

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