EN - Elise is 28 and owns her own tattoo parlour. 36-year-old Didier is a Flemish cowboy who plays the banjo in a bluegrass band. Although in many respects they are as alike as night and day, somehow their characters are a perfect match and the arrival of their baby, Maybelle, makes their happiness complete. Life is good until, one day, fate intervenes… The multi-award-winning film was also Belgium’s 2014 Foreign Oscar contender.

NL - Elise heeft haar eigen tattooshop, Didier speelt banjo in een bandje. Het is liefde op het eerste gezicht, al zijn de verschillen groot. Hij praat, zij luistert. Hij is overtuigd atheïst, tegelijk ook een naïeve romanticus. In haar nek staat een kruis getatoeëerd, toch is ze de nuchterheid zelve. Wanneer dochtertje Maybelle geboren wordt, is hun geluk compleet. Maar als Maybelle zes is, wordt ze ernstig ziek. Didier en Elise reageren totaal verschillend, Maybelle laat hun echter geen keuze: Didier en Elise moeten samen voor haar vechten.

FR- Elise a 28 ans et tient son propre salon de tatouage. Didier, 36 ans, est un cowboy flamand qui joue du banjo dans un groupe. Bien que, sous de nombreux aspects, ils se ressemblent autant que le jour et la nuit, d’une certaine façon leur caractères s’accordent à la perfection et l’arrivée de leur bébé, Maybelle, les comble de bonheur. Tout se passe bien jusqu’au jour où, par un caprice du sort, ils perdent leur petite fille.


Title The Broken Circle Breakdown
Original title The Broken Circle Breakdown
Original language Dutch
Status Completed
Production Majority Flemish
Category Features
Genre drama
Year 2012
World première / first public presentation 2012-10-09


Cast Veerle Baetens, Johan Heldenbergh, Nell Cattrysse, Geert Van Rampelberg, Nils de Caster, Robbie Cleiren, Bert Huysentruyt, Jan Bijvoet
Photography Ruben Impens
Editing Nico Leunen
Sound Jan Deca
Art director Kurt Rigolle
Costume Ann Lauwerys
Makeup Diana Dreesen
Music The Broken Circle Breakdown Band o.l.v. Bjorn Eriksson
Sound design Michel Schöpping

Technical specs

Running time film 100'
Release format ARRI Alexa
Other available formats DCP, HD Cam, Digital betacam, dvd
Aspect ratio 1:2.35 (scope)
Sound format 5.1
Colour Colour
Available in 2D


Supported by

Flanders Audiovisual Fund (VAF), NFF, Eurimages, Kinepolis Film Distribution, Lumière, vtm, Belgacom, btech, Connectimmo, Vanden Avenne Izegem, Kinepolis Multi, Free Record Shop Belgium, G. De Wilde, Game Mania, Tux, Saltoo

Production partners Topkapi Films
Tax shelter partners the Tax Shelter of the Federal Government of Belgium, Casa Kafka Pictures Movie Tax Shelter empowered by Belfius


2013: Berlin International Film Festival - Panorama Special (DE)

2012: Ghent International Film Festival (BE)

The Broken Circle Breakdown in the race for an ‘Italian Oscar’

Felix van Groeningen’s The Broken Circle Breakdown is one of five nominees for the David Di Donatello Award for Best European Feature. Given by the Italian Film Academy, the prestigious film prizes are the Italian equivalent of the Oscars.

The Broken Circle BreakdownThe Broken Circle Breakdown is in the running for Best European Feature together with European heavyweights The Theory of EverythingLockePride and Wild Tales. Van Groeningen’s bluegrass drama was nominated from among more than 100 European films which had a theatrical release in Italy last year.

Published on Wednesday 27 May 2015

Broken Circle Breakdown wins LUX Audience Award in Karlovy Vary

Felix van Groeningen’s The Broken Circle Breakdown has received the Audience Award of the LUX Prize competition during a special ceremony held at the International Film Festival of Karlovy Vary (4-12 July). In December 2013, the film won the main LUX Competition prize as voted on by members of the European Parliament.

The Broken Circle BreakdownThis marks the first time there has been an audience vote in the LUX competition, with viewers throughout Europe choosing one of three finalists (the other two contenders were Valeria Golino’s Miele and Clio Barnard’s The Selfish Giant).

Published on Monday 7 July 2014

The Broken Circle Breakdown wins Best Foreign Film at the French César Awards

Felix van Groeningen’s bluegrass drama The Broken Circle Breakdown has won the prize for Best Foreign Feature at the César Awards Ceremony, overtaking international highfliers such as La grande bellezzaBlancanieves or GravityThe Broken Circle Breakdown is also one of five nominees vying for a Foreign Language Oscar coming Sunday.

CésarsIt was main actor Johan Heldenbergh, portraying bluegrass musician Didier in The Broken Circle Breakdown, who climbed the stage to collect the César for Best Foreign Feature.

Published on Friday 28 February 2014

The Broken Circle Breakdown nabs Satellite Award for Best International Film

Felix van Groeningen’s The Broken Circle Breakdown has won the award for Best International Film at the 18th annual Satellite Awards. The bluegrass-infused love story, nominated for the Academy Awards, outscored Oscar rivals such as Tomas Vinterberg’s The Hunt and Paolo Sorentino’s The Great Beauty. Other nominees also included the much acclaimed Blue is the Warmest Color and The Past.

The Broken Circle BreakdownThe awards, presented by the International Press Academy (IPA), come less than a week before the 86th Academy Awards are to be presented.

Published on Sunday 23 February 2014

The Broken Circle Breakdown-star Veerle Baetens signs with ICM Partners

Belgian actress Veerle Baetens is now a client of international talent agency ICM Partners. The news comes only days after director Felix van Groeningen got signed by an American agency as well.

Veerle BaetensVeerle Baetens stars in Felix van Groeningen’s The Broken Circle Breakdown, which is nominated for the upcoming Academy Awards in the Foreign Language Film category.

Published on Thursday 13 February 2014

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Last edited on 12 March 2019

Short info

Director Felix van Groeningen
Producers Dirk Impens
Writers Felix van Groeningen, Carl Joos

Dirk Impens
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Website www.thebrokencirclebreakdown.be/
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