This rich, raw, heartache of a film tracks a relationship from beginning to end, propelled by a soundtrack of foot-stomping bluegrass. ‘romantic-drama of the highest order – this year’s Once‘
Belgium, Netherlands, 2012. Language: English. 100 minutes. Cert: CLUB. Dir: Felix van Groeningen. Starring: Johan Heldenbergh, Veerle Baetens, Nell Cattrysse, Geert Van Rampelberg, Nils De Caster, Robby Cleiren, Bert Huysentruyt, Jan Bijvoet Flemish
Winner – Audience Award, Berlin Film Festival 2013
A remarkable film in every respect, and one that takes you on a constantly surprising and emotional journey of love, passion, tragedy and joy, The Broken Circle Breakdown won the Audience Prize at the Berlinale, where it was rapturously received. Infused with gorgeous bluegrass music, and with performances of rare power and magnetism, the film takes you on a rollercoaster ride that leaves you exhilarated and reeling. More than mere background music, bluegrass is integral to the story, linking the main themes of life, love, death, America and parenthood.
Elise and Didier have been together for seven passionate years. When their little girl Maybelle is diagnosed with a serious illness, all the turning points in their intense and moving relationship seem to flash by. They remember their love at first sight, courtship and passion, coming closer through their bluegrass band, braving marriage, pregnancy and the joy of parenthood. But as the stress and sorrow of Maybelle’s treatment takes its toll, Didier and Elise begin to respond in different ways – their love in threat, just when they need it most.
Felix van Groeningen has created a masterful, exuberant film; one which miraculously seems to encompass all of human emotion. – Sydney Film festival 2013