74 / 365 – ‘The Diving Bell and the Butterfly’ (2007) – 112 mins
IMDb Challenge #42 / 250 – Ranked #203 – Via DVD collection
On December 8, 1995, Jean-Dominique Bauby, editor in chief of fashion magazine French Elle suffered a massive stroke, leaving him prisoner inside his own body, only able to communicate with the blinking of his left eye. Inside the Diving Bell, as he referred to his body, his memory and imagination, the Butterfly, remained untouched by the tragedy. Using a special alphabet, Bauby went on to defy the odds and fulfil his dream of writing a book.
From the opening moment where it is shot with flickering imagery, it puts you straight into the head of the immobile Jean-Dominique Bauby (Mathieu Amalric ‘Quantum of Solace’) where he can barely see, he can’t move, and although he keeps talking to the hovering doctors, they can’t hear him. This extraordinary true story takes you on a remarkable journey, where coupled with a powerful imagination and memory reflects what one can achieve with inextinguishable inner strength and determination in the face of unimaginable condition. There are some deeply potent scenes where he tries to communicate with his children as well as his father, brilliantly played by Max Von Sydow, who is also a prisoner of his ageing body.
To me ‘The Diving Bell and the Butterfly’ was a truly thought-provoking, unforgettable and immensely moving piece of cinema. Personally this is what is so great about this year-long quest, once in a while I’ll unearth a newly found treasure and experience, one not to miss.