There’s a great moment early on in Breaking the Waves that takes place during Bess and Jan’s wedding reception. While the newlyweds dance ecstatically, and the older inhabitants of the island look on stone-faced, Jan’s friend and co-worker, Terry (who earlier pointed out the church’s lack of bells), gets in the face of an elder and chugs an entire beer, dark liquid running down the sides of his mouth and onto his white shirt. Stoically and silently, the white-haired, bearded man pours himself a glass of an unidentified, clear-ish liquid (some kind of vodka mix perhaps) and downs it all quickly. In a feeble attempt at one-upmanship, Terry crushes the now-empty, aluminum can in his hand, grinning foolishly the entire time. And with the same lack of expression as before, the elder crushes his cup then calmly pulls out a shard of broken glass from his bleeding palm. Without a word, the old order has established its dominance over the island. But though the reckless vivacity of youth can be crushed swiftly, it’s not without leaving some scars.