The Diving Bell and the Butterfly: A Film Review
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The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (Pathé Renn Productions, France; producers, K. Kennedy and J. Kilik; director, J. Schnabel 2007) invites us—perhaps throws us is more apt—into a world none of us ever want to experience: in total paralysis, but with a mind that is alert, active, and at first baffled by its predicament. The film begins with blurred images, glimpses of light, faint voices, and a confusing mixture of sights and sounds. The point of view is stationary, except for eye movements. We gradually learn that we are seeing a hospital room, nurses, doctors, and orderlies. These people move closer to the person through whose eyes we are seeing. They address him as Jean-Dominique Bauby and inform him that he has experienced a catastrophic stoke and has been in a coma for three weeks.
Jean-Dominique (brilliantly portrayed by Mathieu Amalric) gradually becomes aware that he cannot speak. We hear his thoughts through voiceover, but he realizes that no one else can hear him. A doctor...
KeywordsHappy Ending Film Festival American Artist Free Spirit Total Paralysis
- Bauby, J. D. (1998). The diving bell and the butterfly: A memoir of life in death. Trans J Leggatt. New York: Vintage Books.Google Scholar
- Interview with Julian Schnabel, Director of The diving bell and the butterfly by National Public Radio. (2007, November 30). Retrieved February 18, 2008, from http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=16780118.
- Kennedy, K. & Kilik, J. (Producers) & Schnabel, J. (Director). (2007). The diving bell and the butterfly [Motion picture]. France: Pathé Renn Productions.Google Scholar
- The diving bell and the butterfly website. (n.d.). Retrieved February 18, 2008, from http://www.thedivingbellandthebutterfly-themovie.com/.