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The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (French: Le Scaphandre et le Papillon) is a 2007 French biographical drama film based on a memoir of the same name by Jean-Dominique Bauby. Directed by Julian Schnabel, the film starred Mathieu Amalric as Bauby. It was distributed internationally by Miramax Films.

Plot. The movie depicts Jean-Dominique Bauby’s life after suffering a massive stroke on December 8, 1995 (at age 43) and how he communicated and established his memoir just by blinking his left eyelid.
The first forty minutes or so of the film is told from the main character’s first person perspective. It opens with Bauby, or Jean-Do as his friends call him, wakes up from his three-week coma in a hospital in Berck-sur-Mer, France. The neurologist announces that Bauby has locked-in syndrome, an extremely rare case in which the patient is aware and awake but cannot move or communicate verbally due to complete paralysis of nearly all voluntary muscles in the body except for the eyes. In this part of the movie, viewers primarily hear Bauby’s thoughts, as if he is speaking but nobody is hearing him.

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