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Belgium's 'Broken Circle Breakdown' Wins Europa Cinemas Label Prize at the Berlinale

Photo of Beth Hanna By Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood February 15, 2013 at 12:33PM

Belgian film "The Broken Circle Breakdown" has won the Europa Cinemas Label as Best European Film in the Berlinale's Panorama section. It is directed by Felix van Groeningen, and centers on the stormy relationship between a bluegrass musician and a tattoo artist. Synopsis below.
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"The Broken Circle Breakdown"
Tribeca "The Broken Circle Breakdown"

Belgian film "The Broken Circle Breakdown" has won the Europa Cinemas Label as Best European Film in the Berlinale's Panorama section. It is directed by Felix van Groeningen, and centers on the stormy relationship between a bluegrass musician and a tattoo artist. Synopsis below.

The film will now receive support from the Europa Cinemas Network, with incentives to theatrical exhibitors to extend its run on screens.

It is co-written by van Groeningen and Carl Joos, and stars Jonah Heldenbergh, Veerle Baetens and Nell Cattrysse.

Didier and Elise’s relationship is stormy and passionate; it’s love at first sight. Didier plays the banjo in a bluegrass band, lives in a caravan in the Belgian countryside and idolises America as the ‘land of the free’. Elise owns her own tattoo parlour. Her body is plastered with images – little mementos of past lovers whose names have been carefully covered up by new tattoos. Before long their two lives are closely intertwined. Elise sings in Didier’s band and they soon have a daughter together, little Maybelle, with whom they move into a lovingly if unconventionally restored country house. This film accompanies Elise and Didier on their rollercoaster ride through life; through days filled with their love of music and their mutual passion.

UK director Sally El Hosaini's "My Brother the Devil" won the prize at last year's Berlinale.

This article is related to: Festivals, Berlin International Film Festival, Foreign


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.