This film, more than any of my other films, is an exploration of the
concept of journey. A journey that begins the minute you decide to leave
your home and go to a place where, in the company of a few other strangers,
you will take a seat in front of a huge screen. There, you will be invited
to transcend that screen, and undertake another journey: a journey that’s
sensorial, emotional and—don’t be afraid to say it—intellectual
as well. Journey…I couldn’t stop repeating that word to
myself, over and over again, while I wrote and directed The
The story of Ramón Sampedro was, without doubt, the story of
a journey. Sampedro spent almost thirty years of his life laid up in
bed, looking out through a window (his own film screen), watching life
go by…awaiting death. Before that, he had been around the world,
having enlisted as a sailor at the age of twenty. In his youth, Ramón
had done a lot of travelling, more than any of us. By the time he reached
fifty, he was getting ready for his definitive journey, the one we all
dread…but which we all have to face one day: the final journey.
For someone like Ramón, reduced as he was to a state of physical
immobility, dreams were a way of regaining freedom. In his dreams, he
could fly, as well as feel people and things again…he could also
get to the sea, that seemingly unending line of water, that frontier
between life and death: the abyss…. Ramón would often fly
to the abyss, and, in his writings, he’d invite us to contemplate
it with him. “Let me cross that line,” he’d often
plead, “let me jump over.” Strangely enough, the more his
poems allowed me to contemplate that abyss, the more alive I felt, and
the more I always felt like telling this story about journey: the great
adventure of life.
Those who go and see The Sea Inside will
also travel to Galicia, a beautiful region in the north of Spain; a
region of quiet, unassuming people, who very much keep to themselves.
A place where words are not necessary, but a place teeming with passion
nevertheless. They will get to know Ramón’s family, completely
given over to the task of taking care of him: his brother, his sister-in-law,
his nephew. All of them so happy to be with him, day after day, around
his bed. But they themselves are prisoners of their destiny.
Most of all, those who go and see The Sea Inside
will make a journey to the inner world of a man capable of extending
his presence to others, of projecting his sense of humour, humanity
and wisdom to all who ever had the privilege of knowing him.