Breaking the Waves

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.


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.

About the film

  • Type: Feature Film
  • National Premiere Date: October 24, 1996
  • Genre: Drama
  • Length: 159 min.
  • Language: English
  • Original Title: Breaking the Waves
  • International Title: Breaking the Waves
  • Production Year: 1996
  • Production Countries: Iceland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, France, Holland, Spain
  • IMDB: Breaking the Waves
  • Icelandic Film Centre Grant: No
  • Production Format: 35mm
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Color: Yes
  • Sound: Dolby Digital



Company Credits

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