The Broken Circle Breakdown at the European Union Film Festival South Africa

The Broken Circle Breakdown is a 2012 movie from Belgium which was nominated for an Oscar as the Best Foreign Language film in 2014.


Starring Veerle Baetens (Elise), Johan Heldenbergh (Didier) and Nell Cattrysse (Maybelle) this Flemish film (and no, I couldn’t follow most of the Flemish without the sub-titles) is a love story between Didier, an atheist, and Elise, a young woman who is probably more agnostic than Christian, but still responds to spiritual things.s

They have a little girl, Maybelle, who become seriously ill with cancer.

The movie is not easy to watch, and there are some emotionally draining places for the audience.  It is only lightened by the wonderful country music (bluegrass, the movie informs us) which Didier’s band plays.

The movie is assembled in a series of flashbacks and as the various ethical issues unravel I was more and more amazed at how little sentimentality is unleashed.  The director, Felix van Groeningen, keeps a tight reign on things.  One of the writers of the original play is Johan Heldenbergh who plays Didier and the other was Mieke Dobbels.

This movie was one of the movies at the European Union Film Festival at Cinema Nouveau in May 2014.



About moirads

Clergy person, theatre and music lover, avid reader, foodie. Basically, I write about what I do, where I go and things I love (or hate).
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