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Movie: The Broken Circle Breakdown


The Broken Circle Breakdown

Winner - Audience Award 2013 Berlin Film Festival

Bring along all the emotional support you can muster to get you through this topsy-turvy love story; a boisterous, heart-wrenching movie that will have you smiling through your tears.

Didier (Johan Heldenbergh) – a self-proclaimed Belgian cowboy – lives in a caravan and plays in a bluegrass band. This isn’t a gimmick; he loves the music and respects the sorrows that inspired the Appalachian dirt farmers to pick up guitar and fiddle in the first place. All this he communicates to Elise (Veerle Baetens) with an ardour she can’t resist. Covered in tattoos, this kindred bohemian spirit moves in with him and starts singing with the band. They have a daughter, Maybelle. But their happiness is shattered when the girl is diagnosed with leukemia.

Director Felix van Groeningen (The Misfortunates) cuts across the chronology of events, juxtaposing the first rush of passion with dire moments at the sick bed; joyful elation and rock bottom despair. And throughout, he weaves in the hopeful, faithful, plangent sounds of traditional American folk music, performed with irresistible enthusiasm by a misfit band of bewhiskered Belgian hillbillies, and serving as a kind of chorus to the turbulent trials that befall Didier and Elise’s union. In the words of the hymn that gives the film its title: ‘There are loved ones in the glory/Whose dear forms you often miss/When you close your earthly story/Will you join them in their bliss?/Will the circle be unbroken/By and by, by and by?’

– Vancouver International Film Festival

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  • A former member
    A former member

    Sad but beautiful and moving film. I didn't recognise the other meet-uppers.

    December 16, 2013

    • Ghassan

      I waited in front of the concession stand from 8:30pm until 8:45pm. I looked for you and Anthony but did not recognize either of you. The movie was superb, and is one of the best I've seen this year.

      December 16, 2013

3 went

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