Screening of award - winning film

Athlone Film Club is proud to present the award winning film The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, in the Dean Crowe Theatre , Tuesday November 4 at 8pm.

This gripping film has drawn large audiences wherever it has been screened.

The Diving Bell and Butterfly is a 2007 film based on the international best selling memoir of the same name by Jean-Dominique Bauby. The film depicts Bauby’s life after suffering a massive stroke at the age of 42, which left him with a condition known as locked in syndrome.

This condition paralysed him, with the exception of his left eyelid, so that he could only communicate by blinking but he remained mentally normal.

The film is initially told entirely from the restricted point of view of Bauby, as he wakes up from his three-week coma in a hospital in Berck, France. The viewer is drawn in as we hear the thoughts of Bauby which are unattainable to the other characters and we see through his one functioning eye.

Painstakingly, Bauby was helped to develop an alphabet of blinking, and over the course of little more than a year, he told his story, his ‘bedridden travel notes’ in the form of a novel. This memoir touched people the world over, but like the film, steers refreshingly clear of turning Bauby into a tragic heroic figure. Rather we see him as a flawed man, regretful of some of his choices but a droll and irreverently funny man too.

The story of Bauby’s writing of the book is juxtaposed with his recollections and regrets of his life up until his stroke. We see the mother of his three children, his children, his mistress, his friends, and his father. He encounters people from his past whose lives bear similarities to his own situation: a friend who was kidnapped in Beirut and held in solitary confinement for years, and his own father, who is confined to his own appartment because he is too frail to use the stairs.

Bauby himself heard the critics’ response to his memoir but died 10 days later of pneumonia.

The film version which was directed by Julian Schnabel appears on many critics top ten films of all time. It won awards at the Cannes Film Festival, the Golden Globes, and the BAFTA Awards, as well as four Academy Award nominations.

This film will leave Athlone audiences enthralled as they become absorbed into Bauby’s world in this amazing cinematic experience.

Come along at 7.30pm for a complimentary pre-screening drink of wine. Members bring a friend for free!

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