Breaking the Waves

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Review, by Lisa Nesselson

"Caught In The Web" Inter(net)views, QuickTime:
"Introductions" with the cast (1.3mb)
"Introduction" with Stellan Skarsgård (0.7mb)
"Contradictions" with Stellan Skarsgård (1.2mb)
"Democratic Hello" with Stellan Skarsgård (0.8mb)
"Boredom" with Emily Watson (0.7mb)

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In the early 1970's a naive girl, Bess, living in a small community on the North West coast of Scotland, falls in love with oil-rig worker and man-of-the-world Jan. Despite local opposition they marry. Jan returns to the rig, whilst Bess counts the days to his homecoming sure that their love is made in heaven, especially as she is convinced she can mentally communicate with God. When an accident renders Jan paralysed he is worried that Bess will cut herself off from a normal life. Realising that he will be bedridden, he convinces her that she will aid his recovery by taking a lover and relating to him their sexual acts.

"For a long time I have been wanting to conceive a film in which all driving forces are 'good' but since the 'good' is misunderstood tensions arise. The character of Bess is 'good' in a spiritual sense... never accepting anything other than 'good' might exist. A strong person, despite general opinion, Bess takes full responsibility for her own life, so strong she rebels against the strict rules of the community and the Church once so dear to her. Jan consciously aims to do 'good'. He inhabits the real world with strict ideas about love and how love should be lived. We feel the tensions within the community but nothing can harm Bess and Jan as long as they are together. Then comes the separation and the accident. Initially Jan is realistic knowing that he will never be Bess' lover again. He, being completely sincere and genuine, asks Bess to find another lover. Bess is fooled; she is doing 'good' for him. Nobody is forcing anybody. They both act from their will to do 'good'. And the 'good' will always be recognized... somewhere!" - Lars Von Trier

Directed by: Lars von Trier
Written by: Lars von Trier
Starring: Katrin Cartlidge, Stellan Skarsgård, Emily Watson, Jean-Marc Barr, Adrian Rawlins, Jonathan Hackett
Produced by: Peter Aalbæk Jensen, Vibeke Windelov
Original Music by: Joachim Holbeck

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