Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007) is just the second foreign film I've watched, and it's become apparent to me that foreign films may be better than American films. Because they mean so much more. And this film will mean a lot to whoever watches it.
This is the true story of Jean-Dominique Bauby (Mathieu Amalric), who used to be the editor of French Elle, until he suffered from a stroke which left him paralyzed all over. The only thing he could still use was his imagination, memory and his left eye. Learning to speak through his eye, he decides to get a book of his published, with the help of someone taking his dictation.
Jean-Do is quite self-pitying at the start, but once he puts his mind to his work, he is like he was before the stroke. But his memory and imagination are vivid, and refreshing from what is quite a difficult and depressing story. Sometimes I couldn't sit through this movie, it felt to painful because the camera was set in the position as if it was Jean-Do's eye. This gave a feeling of the audience being Jean-Do, and feeling the pain and hurt that he did. However, I really liked the way this film was made. It was so original and haunting, and it sorta made you look at how lucky you are to be living a life where you can do what ever you want.
I would recommend this film to everyone who has a discerning interest in French cinema, or someone who doesn't know how lucky they are to be alive and well.

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