The Diving Bell and the Butterfly is a movie is based on the true story of a French man, Jean Dominque Bauby, who suffers a massive stroke at age 43 leaving him to experience locked-in syndrome, a condition that paralyzes all of Bauby except his eyelids. His only form of communication is blinking with his left eye.
Prior to his stroke, Bauby was an editor of a popular French fashion magazine, Elle, and had a book deal. The movie shows Bauby writing his book using an exhausting form of communication that requires him to blink his left eye when his nurse speaks a particular letter. The cinematography for the film is quite ambitious as it depicts Bauby remembering what his life use to be like. Some scenes give the viewer the perspective of the main character as he sees his eyelid opening and closing. Then, it switches to a scene of Bauby imaging a mountain, feast or past social occasions.
This movie achieved great critical acclaim. It was a four-time Academy Award nominated 2007 film. The director Julian Schnabel won best director at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival. Many critics listed it as their top ten favorite films of 2007. One small downside is that the movie is spoken in French and has English subtitles.
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly shows that we are far greater than our bodies and the human Spirit is capable of filling our life with meaning, joy and purpose even if our body is in a debilitated state.