Saturday, 16 May 2009

Film - the Diving Bell and the Butterfly

Wonderful movie at the film club last week. If you haven't seen it, do please rent the DVD (French with subtitles), or read the book which somehow passed me by, though I heard about it.
Editor of Elle magazine and Lothario about town, Jean-Dominique Bauby, has a major stroke at the age of 43. Though his brain is fine, he is totally paralysed except for the use of one eye. He's taught to communicate by a series of patient women who read aloud the alphabet and when the desired letter is reached, Bauby blinks. In this tortuous manner, letter by letter, he writes a book about his past high-rolling life in Paris and his present locked-in condition in a bleak but clearly excellent hospital near Calais. He's visited regularly by the beautiful mother of his children (all the nurses, speech therapists and editors are beautiful) but never by his lost lover Ines who he longs to see. It's a tribute to the human spirit that there's nothing sentimental or mawkish about this ultimately uplifting film. He died just after the book was published in France where it became a best-seller.
Here's a trailer.

1 comment:

Debs said...

I really must see this film. I saw a documentary on Jean-Dominique Bauby and it was heart-wrenching to think that someone could be so badly paralysed.