18 certificateBreaking the Waves is a Film programme that first aired in 1996 and has been classified a 18 certificate.

Breaking the Waves is a 4 star programme

Image for the Film programme "Breaking the Waves"

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Breaking the Waves (1996)

Directed by
Lars von Trier

Oilman Jan is paralyzed in an accident. His wife, who prayed for his return, feels guilty; even more, when Jan urges her to have sex with another

This is a harrowing tale of a naive young woman named Bess McNeil (Emily Watson) who lives in a remote and highly religious and repressed Scottish community.

When Bess marries the love of her life, a Danish oil-rig worker named Jan (Stellan Skarsgård), her life takes on a whole new meaning as he introduces her to her adulthood.

Soon after Jan must return to his rig and Bess prays to God everyday that he returns to her for good.

However when he does return home for good things aren't quite as she had expected. He has suffered an horrific accident which has left him paralysed from the neck down leaving their sexual relationship cut horribly short.

Jan, aware of Bess' needs, starts urging Bess to take another lover and to relay all the details to him. However, as Bess becomes more and more deviant in her sexual behaviour the more she shocks and offends the community in which she lives and she is subsequently ostracised.

Written by ,

Genre: Film

Running Time: 159 minutes (approx)

Production Year: 1996

4/5 Stars

Classification: 18 Certificate

Production Country: Denmark/Sweden

Filmed in Colour


Image for Emily WatsonEmily Watson...Bess McNeill
Image for Stellan SkarsgårdStellan Skarsgård...Jan Nyman
Katrin Cartlidge...Dodo McNeill
Jean-Marc Barr...Terry
Adrian Rawlins...Dr. Richardson
Jonathan Hackett...Priest
Sandra Voe...Mother
Udo Kier...Sadistic Sailor
Mikkel Gaup...Pits
Roef Ragas...Pim
Philip McCall...Grandfather
Robert Robertson...Chairman
Desmond Reilly...An Elder
Sarah Gudgeon...Sybilla
Finlay Welsh...Coroner