Scaphandre

Well, it happened again and, the conclusion is that I seem to live in this world with, at least, 8 years of delay. On the up side, one can still be surprised by pieces of art that are not dedicated to an incomprehensible level of abstractionism, which seems to be the XXI century mode: installations of pieces of beef in galleries, or paintings done with menstrual blood are not very appeasing to my aesthetics senses.

Last night, while browsing through Netflix on the foreign movie section, I came across the french movie Le scaphandre et le Papillon, from 2007 about which I had never heard. And for those as equally ignorant, i.e. one that ignores, reading this post, Le scaphandre is based on a memoir written by Jean-Dominique Bauby, after he suffered a massive stroke which left him with the locked-in syndrome, paralyzed from the neck down, unable to speak and, with only his left eye working.  He communicated with people by blinking his eye, and that’s how he managed to write the book.

In the beginning of the movie, as the camera moves around working as Jean’s eyes, I felt a little dubious. ‘Oh, no…this thing is going to go on forever like that” taking me to that place where the bells ring when the incomprehensible level of abstractionism is about to strike. But take heart. It’s a superb work of direction, script and, adaption of a true story, worth every minute of it. People usually say that you start understanding things once you go through it yourself and, as you are placed to see the world through his eyes, life takes a different perspective, indeed.

It is worth mentioning that, although the story is on the heavy side of life, it is not dramatic nor full of the tricks to make you cry or to move the audience into a sorry place. Maybe is the french existencialist approach to things, when even tragedies are dealt with a very practical, pragmatic way, like, “Alors,...”

I was left with a sense of how we are all so vulnerable and fragile, how relationships are delicate and how we are clumsy, to say the least, when faced with our own disabilities, differences and limits. How romantic love, sometimes, cannot endure impossibilities and, compassion is the only thing left for us humans to survive life and its twists and turns.

There is always hope.

Now go and watch the movie.

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