“When reading the description of this film for the first time, I definitely raised an eyebrow. A film about a man who can only move his left eyelid? That can not be the most fascinating story ever. Little did I know how beautiful it actually was. It all happened to Jean-Dominique Bauby, a successful editor of the French Elle. In the prime of his life he suffered from a stroke and became completely paralysed, a feeling he himself would describe as “living in a wet suit”. However, Jean- Dominique decided to make something of the time he has left (“I decided to have no self-pity and pay more attention to the two things that were not paralyzed: my imagination and my memory”) and asked his very patient nurse to write down his memoirs: Le Scaphandre et le papillon.
What makes this film special is not just the cinematography (which is in fact really really beautiful), but also how it makes you think about life. The main message of this film is not to show you how horrible it is to be locked in your body, but to show us that there is always something that can save you, like your imagination. Or, as the tagline of this beautiful french movie says: let your imagination set you free!”
If you love art house films and have a weak spot for the French language, this is one you definitely HAVE to see. You won’t regret it, trust me. It also has a great soundtrack!
(don’t watch it you don’t want to be spoiled ;) )