Jean-Jacques Beinex's film recounts the long journey of Jean-Dominique Bauby, struck down by locked-in-syndrome, in his daily struggle to write one of the finest and most unusual book of the decade The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. It transports the reader into the musings of an immobile man, his humor and his faith in life.

Jean-Dominique Bauby was editor-in-chief of the famous women's magazine ELLE, when, on the 8th December 1995, he had a brain stem stroke and was affected by locked-in-syndrome. Totally paralyzed, but with his mind intact, he became a prisoner in his own body.

His only way of maintaining contact with the outside world was by blinking his left eyelid. Using this unprecedented method of communication, Jean-Dominique patiently dictated his book “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly”.

The film invites you to follow the strange trajectory of this unusual writer as filmed by Jean-Jacques Beineix.  Jean-Dominique Bauby died on Sunday, 9th March 1997.  For over one year, he had lived as some would describe as a seriously handicapped person, but what he himself described as a mutant. 

Directed and Produced by Jean-Jacques Beinex

Language: French with English Subtitles

Selected at FIPA 98, Creative Documentaries and Essay section, Biarritz, France
Selected at the 38th Monte-Carlo Festival, News Programmes section, 1998
Silver Spire Winner Award of the San Fransisco International Film Festival, USA, 1998
Certificate of Merit of the Chicago International Television Competition, USA, 1998
Selected at the Banf Festival, Canada, 1998
Selected at Festival des films du Monde of Montréal, Canada, 1998
Presented at the Yokohama French Film Festival, Japan 1998

Included on the DVD are the following titles:


Mr. Michel is poor and friendless. To fill his lonely life he makes up a dog, providing the vocal effects himself. When his disgruntled neighbors get on his case, he drowns his imaginary dog and falls into silence and depression. His sheepish neighbors then offer him a real dog.


Denise Perron, Yves Afonso (Monsieur Michel), Dominique Besnehard, Seguev Shoshana

Language: French with English Subtitles
TRT: 14 min

Rencontres d'Epinay 1978
1st Prize at the Festival de Trouville
Awarded by the National Center of Cinematography
Nominated in 1978 at Caesars
Opening the festival Yokohama in 1995, Category Courts


In Japan, a new phenomenon called Otaku has surfaced. Today’s youth, mostly male, immerse themselves in a virtual world made up of images, movies, objects, plastic dolls, guns… This virtual world fulfills them, contrasted with a world in which it is increasingly more difficult to communicate and more driven by the individual, a world where human relations must be reinvented before they perish.

Produced by CARGO FILMS and FRANCE 2

Language: French with English Subtitles
TRT: 76 min

1st prize at the Festival International de l'environnement – France 1995