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

His name is Jan.

I do not know him.

He's from the rig.

You know we do not favor

matrimony with outsiders.

Can you even tell us

what matrimony is?

It's when two people

are joined in God.

Do you really believe

you're capable

of bearing the responsibility

not only for your

own marriage in God,

but also another's?

I know I am.

Can you think of

anything of real value

that the outsiders have

brought with them?

Their music.

Out you go, Bess McNeill,

and be seated.

Forgot my six- string razor,...

...hit the sky

Halfway to Memphis...

...before I realized

Well, I rang the information... ax was cold

They said she rides

a train to Oreoles

Now it's

a mighty long way...


Bess, come on.

Don't be silly.

He's late.

All right, but at least

he's coming.

Get this on, then.

You're going to

ruin your dress.

He's late.

You're being silly.

Come on.

Come on.

Bess, get your clothes on.

Come on.

Don't ruin it.

It's a good day.

Come on.

Bess, you're not supposed to

see him. You know that.

You're going to ruin your...

You're late!


Break out the bottles!

Come on.

It's my wedding.

Will you please,

be upstanding for the bride?

The Lord's my Shepherd,

I'll not want;

He makes me come to God... pastures green;

He leadeth me... quiet waters lie

As we stand in thy presence

today, in thy house,

We worship thee as the author

of every good

and perfect gift.

Christ loved the church

and gave himself for her.

We should love Chirist

and give ourselves to him.

If it is not too inappropriate...

...may I say that you, Bess,...

...have shown that love and that

commitment in your own life.

It is not once or twice

that you have been

in this building,

giving your time

and effort to cleaning it.

I know that

you have done that...

...not so as to be

well-thought-of here on earth

...but out of your love

for God in heaven.

Great sermon, father.

Ring the bells, then.

Our church has no bells.

That's not too fun, is it?





Ha ha!

This is Dodo.

Oh, the sister-in-law.

We haven't really met, have we?

No. Well, everything

happened so quickly.

What makes you say that?

I just mean...

Well, it did, didn't it?

Are you not happy for me?

Of course I am.

Of course I am.

Come on, Terry.

Whoo! Whoo-hoo!





Get along, little dogies!


"Dear Bess,

"I've known you for 6 years,...

...and I can definitely say... have the biggest heart...

...of anyone I've ever met."

"It wasn't easy for me here

when I married Sam,...

...but you welcomed me instantly,...

...and I won't ever forget that."

"Your generosity

knows no bounds,... the time when you

lent jack a bike...

...because his was broken,

only it was mine,...

...and I had to walk to work."

"I was furious with you then,...

...but I regret that now,...

...because it's your spirit."

"You'd give anything to anyone."

"When Sam died, I lost

a husband, and you a brother."

"We saw each other through that

and promised to

look after one another."

"You are the reason..." sorry.

"I have stayed...

...when I almost gave up

in this cold place,...

...and now your warmth

has embraced another outsider."

"His name is Jan,...

...and I don't know

much about him,...

...but I'll accept

his right to be here...

...because of you, Bess."

"If he doesn't take care of you...

...and give you

everything you need,...

...I'll kill him."

"Thank you for all

you've given me, Bess.

I love you very much."

Have me now?


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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, 2021. Web. 17 Apr. 2021. <>.

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