The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

DKC and I watched a movie last night that I’m not likely to forget: The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. The movie’s hard for me to discuss, really. Basically, it’s the true life account of a man (the editor-in-chief of Elle magazine) who suffered a spontaneous rare form of a stroke that left him paralyzed except for his eyes. (Actually, his right eye couldn’t blink, so it had to be sewn shut). He proceeded to write a book about his experience–one blink at a time. An aide would sit by him and recite the letters of the alphabet in order of frequency (RSTLNE, etc.), and he would blink when she got to the next letter in the word he was spelling. 200,000 some odd blinks letter, the book was finished. The movie is an adaptation of the book. It’s an incredible film–very thought provoking and well done. The first half of it is shot almost exclusively from his point of view, which gives the film a claustrophobic feel. I can’t imagine what it would be like to have that happen to me–well, after this film, I can imagine it, but I don’t like to. It just made me grateful for what I’m able to do–grateful for all the troubles I have in my life, because it really truly could be worse. The film’s not for the faint of heart. It’s French, so expect some nudity beyond your typical PG-13 film–nothing gratuitous, but it IS rated PG-13. I can’t recommend it enough. As strong a four star rating as I can give. A movie that might not change your life permanently, but will certainly cause you to look at your life differently.

5 thoughts on “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly”

  1. Wow. That sounds intense.
    It’s not at the Provo Library, dang it. I really need to get an Orem library membership one of these days.
    I’d probably have to watch it by myself. Subtitles + French people + Intense, serious plot do not a happy husband make in this household, unfortunately.

  2. Re: Wow. That sounds intense.
    Isn’t that the whole point of you getting to dictate date night? ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s a great movie–not to be missed. Just don’t be surprised when you see the nudity. Both flavors. ๐Ÿ™‚ You do know that you can just go into Orem with your Provo library card and get an Orem membership, right?

  3. Re: Wow. That sounds intense.
    Ah, you make a good point about date night! I guess I just have to figure out how much torture I’m willing to put him through. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Friday night is a much better night to watch a heavy movie than Saturday or (even worse) Sunday night – we have to watch funny or action movies those nights so we don’t get extra depressed.
    Didn’t realize that all I needed was a Provo library card! Cool. Now I just have to make myself get up there – I don’t find myself in Orem (north of University) too often. Will do!

  4. Coincidentally, I just finished a book about a brain researcher who had a stroke. It’s called “My Stroke of Insight” and tells about her loss and later recovery of her left brain hemisphere. It’s aptly named as she provides a lot of interesting insight about the difference in function between our right and left hemispheres and how we could all benefit from getting the left side to calm down long enough for us to enjoy the peace, serenity and creativity that the right can provide. Wonderful book! I highly recommend it and it definitely will influence my future outlook on the world.

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