Is a woman who dies for love in order to "save" her husband, automatically a Christ figure? What about one who willingly submits to and is eventually killed by sexual violence and prostitution? And if she is seen as a Christ figure, would this be a progressive or a retrograde theological interpretation of a film with such a story line?
The 1996 independent Scandinavian film Breaking the Waves, written and directed by Lars yon Trier, presents such a film and some have found Christological imagery there. I wanted to know how religious viewers, schooled in such imagery and devoted to it, would react to this film. Would they see allusions to Christ? Would they feel avant- in declaring a woman who sacrifices to save someone a Christ figure? Or would they react with distaste at such a seemingly bizarre sacrifice with its clear tones of sexual abuse and coercive stereotypes? And would any of this challenge or confirm their inherited views of Christ?
Mercadante, Linda A.
"Bess the Christ Figure?: Theological Interpretations of Breaking the Waves,"
Journal of Religion & Film: Vol. 5
, Article 4.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.unomaha.edu/jrf/vol5/iss1/4