Poignant, unsentimental, fact-based drama based on the life of Spanish quadriplegic Ramon Sampedro, who tried for some 30 years for the right to commit assisted suicide. Paralyzed in a diving accident, Ramon (Bardem) becomes a cause celebre as he lies bedridden, cared for by his religious family who are opposed to his decision. He builds his case with the help of his lawyer Julia (Rueda), who suffers herself from a degenerative disease. Ramon also inspires Rosa (Duenas), a neighbor who tries to convince the single-minded man to live and then falls in love with him. Bardem does an amazing job since, except for some brief flashbacks and fantasies, his movement is limited to his neck and head. The real Sampedro wrote poetry and a best-selling memoir, gave numerous interviews, and filmed his assisted suicide (in 1998) so it could be shown on TV. Spanish with subtitles.
Warner Home Video, Inc., 5775 Linder Canyon Rd., Westlake Village, CA 91362, URL: http://whv.warnerbros.com, Remarks: Does not handle retail queries from consumers; contact your local video distributor.
Available on DVD
Running time 125 minutes.
Oscars 2004: Foreign Film; Golden Globes 2005: Foreign Film; Ind. Spirit 2005: Foreign Film.
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