Soaring to new heights

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By Kirsten Laskey

Jean-Dominique Bauby (Mathieu Amalric) may have been trapped in a paralyzed body but within his mind, he soared to enormous heights.

“The Diving Bell and the Butterfly,” depicts the true story of Bauby, known as “Jean-Do” a writer and fashion editor who suffered a stroke, which left him paralyzed and blind in one eye.

He is unable to move, unable to talk, but there are many times throughout the movie that you forget all about his disabilities because Jean-Do’s mind is much alive. He indulges in his memories and in his imagination.

Jean-Do is able to brilliantly fly away from his imprisonment in his own body and everybody rallies around him. The speech therapist, Claude (Anne Consigny) designs a way for Jean-Do to communicate. The alphabet is read to him and he blinks his left eye to select the letters to communicate his thoughts.

As Jean-Do blinks out beautiful, and profound messages, his family and friends reveal their loyalty and love toward him. They never abandon him or forget him, but cheer Jean-Do on .

The compassion and love everyone seems to share for one another, makes this movie great. It could have been a dismal story about a man who was cheated of his life, but the movie celebrates Jean Do’s strengths and the qualities of everyone around him.

“The Diving Bell and the Butterfly,” continues the Mesa Public Library’s free film series. It will be shown at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in the upstairs meeting room.