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6,758 Ratings

Breaking the Waves

Directed by Lars von Trier
Denmark, France, 1996
  • English
  • Dutch, French, Romanian, Spanish


In the outskirts of Scotland, Bess, a religious young woman, falls in love with and marries a handsome oil rig worker. Soon, an unfortunate work accident cripples him for life, which shatters Bess’s world completely, especially when he encourages her to take on other lovers.

Our take

From controversial director Lars von Trier comes the first entry in his Golden Heart trilogy, which was followed by The Idiots and the Palme d’Or winning Dancer in the Dark. Starring Emily Watson in an uncompromising performance, Breaking the Waves remains one of Von Trier’s finest achievements.

Breaking the Waves Directed by Lars von Trier

Awards & Festivals

Cannes Film Festival

1996 | Winner: Grand Prize of the Jury

Academy Awards

1997 | Nominee: Best Actress in a Leading Role

Independent Spirit Awards

1997 | Nominee: Best Foreign Film

What are people saying?

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