Broken Circle Breakdown- “An emotionally charged story”
Possibly the best film of the decade, Broken Circle Breakdown will evoke emotions you may never have experienced. In the words of young director/producer, Felix van Groenigen, “this film is an emotional roller coaster.” It is also one that brings the music that I love to the forefront where it belongs. The discerning viewer will more than likely “get” the concept of the circle of life. The term “Breakdown” comes from the bluegrass tradition where the instrumentalists take their turns with a “lead instrumental break” between verses. This is something that can’t be pigeon holed into a quartet or quintet. The genre typically consists of a Bass, Guitar, Fiddle, Mandolin, and Banjo plus 2 to even 4 part harmony vocals.
In Groenigen’s film it becomes clear to the casual viewer that there are two prominent themes, and maybe more, but the themes that will transport you as you watch are the love story, and the music. Bluegrass music for those who aren’t among the initiated, tell stories that are deep in the history of culture. When a film can convey the gravity of how these stories are passed forward, you get a big fireworks show…or in my case tears…tears that flow from listening to the music and the lyrics that tell the tragic tale.
As a reader and writer, I’m a big fan of stories of triumph and tragedy. I searched my soul for the triumph from the story in this film but could only find solace in the sound and heart of the music.
When you’re ready to cry…a lot, then set aside some time to watch this movie. I guarantee you’ll be touched.