At the centre of the film is Bess, a young woman raised in a small, devoutly religious community in the Outer Hebrides. Her life changes when she meets Jan, and outsider who works on the North Sea oil rigs. Their love - and the physical manifestation of it - transforms Bess. But their happiness is blighted when he suffers a terrible accident, and the body she desires so passionately becomes paralysed. To keep their erotic life alive, Jan urges Bess to have sex with other men and describe her experiences to him. Her sacrifice is his salvation, but it leads to her downfall and degradation. Breaking the Waves is a passionate film about religious dogmatism and erotic obsession where physical love is endowed with life-giving powers of healing, and miracles can occur.