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Film Description

Film Description


The Broken Circle Breakdown

When inked-up tattoo artist Elise (Veerle Baetens) meets gentle, banjo-playing bluegrass musician Didier (Johan Heldenbergh, author of the play on which the film is based), it's love at first sight, despite some considerable differences: he talks, she listens; he is a dedicated atheist (while at the same time a naïve romantic), while the cross tattooed on the back of her neck speaks to her grounded yet quietly dedicated faith. Their lives quickly become inextricably intertwined as Elise starts singing in Didier's band, and the two soon have a beautiful little daughter, Maybelle; but when Maybelle falls critically ill after her sixth birthday, the seemingly inseparable bond between this perennial odd couple is put to the test. A passionate and moving love story scored to a glorious soundtrack of traditional and original bluegrass compositions (the film's soundtrack album was a bestseller in Belgium), The Broken Circle Breakdown was a box-office hit in its home country a festival favourite worldwide, winning awards at the Berlin and Tribeca film festivals.


"Heldenbergh and Baetens pull you in with committed performances -- their raw pain and grief is totally believable." - Cath Clarke, Time Out

"When the band is onscreen, the film becomes alive, even as we know the misery the smiles are hiding and the pain that the harmonies seek to ease." - Peter Howell, Toronto Star

Director: Felix Van Groeningen
Cast: Veerle Baetens, Johan Heldenbergh, Nell Cattrysse
Year: 2013
Runtime: 111 minutes
Country: Belgium, Netherlands
Language: Flemish, English
Distributor: Filmswelike

Ratings: ON NR / BC NR / AB NR / SK NR / MB NR / QC NR / Maritmes NR


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