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

Thank you, Lord, for this day

you have blessed us with.

It's stupid that only men

can talk in the service.

Hold your tongue, woman.

Lassie! It's Lassie!

It is Lassie, I know it!

Lassie! Oh, Lassie!

Lassie. Oh, Lassie.

Oh, welcome home.

They're burying anthony now.

Go and listen to the minister.


Yeah. You can do

that if you want.

Men are allowed at funerals.

Go on.

Anthony dod mantle,

who has been one...

Anthony dod mantle,

you are a sinner...

...and you deserve

your place in hell.

The minister said

he would go to hell.

Did he say that?

Bloody cheerful.

Will anthony go to hell.

Everyone knows that.

You do realize...

...that I will have to go back

soon, don't you?

You knew it all the time.

"Lord, we are unworthy of

the least of all thy mercies.

We thank thee for this food.

Pardon our sins

for Jesus' sake. Amen."


When are you going back?

Oh, didn't you know?

Jan's going to stay

at home with me...

...quit the rig because

we're so happy.

Bess, come on.

I wish I could.

I will not have that kind of

behavior in my house!

I'm sorry, mother.

I'm sorry.

If you cannot

control your moods,...

...It's the hospital again

for you, my girl.

I'm sorry. I'm sorry.

I'm sorry.

Why should you

be any different?

Every woman around here

has to learn to be alone

when their man's away

at sea or on the oil rigs.

Even you can learn

how to endure.

I don't even know

who you are.

I don't know

anything about you,...

...and quite frankly...

I'm sorry.

I'm sorry to say this,...

...but I don't trust you.


She's very susceptible.

And you could

get her t...

You could get her to do

anything you wanted.

No. I don't think so.

How am I supposed to

look out for her now?

What do you want to do?

Keep her here, locked up

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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. 24 Jan. 2020. <>.

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