The estimation of optical flow fields from image sequences is incorporated in a Mumford–Shah approach for image denoising and edge detection. Possibly noisy image sequences are considered as input and a piecewise smooth image intensity, a piecewise smooth motion field, and a joint discontinuity set are obtained as minimizers of the functional. The method simultaneously detects image edges and motion field discontinuities in a rigorous and robust way. It is able to handle information on motion that is concentrated on edges. Inherent to it is a natural multiscale approximation that is closely related to the phase field approximation for edge detection by Ambrosio and Tortorelli. We present an implementation for two-dimensional image sequences with finite elements in space and time. This leads to three linear systems of equations, which have to be solved in a suitable iterative minimization procedure. Numerical results and different applications underline the robustness of the approach presented.