Breaking the Waves

  • Dir: Lars von Trier

  • Denmark, 1996, English, 158min, Digital

  • Cast: Emily Watson, Stellan Skarsgård, Katrin Cartlidge

God sees all? Bess (in a stunning debut performance by Emily Watson) believes in fierce faith and childlike naiveté. When her husband is paralyzed in an accident, the trusting child fearlessly sacrifices herself to sexual brutality, in her conviction that it can save the life of the man she loves. Müller’s exhilarating illusion of “reality” – created with a handheld camera, and raw aesthetic of grainy image – brings us a painful rumination about spirituality provoked by von Trier: is Bess a sinner, a wanton, or a saint after all?

Cannes Film Festival: Grand Prize of the Jury



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