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Based on a true story that captured the world's attention, Javier Bardem stars as Spaniard Ramón Sampedro, who fought a thirty-year campaign to win the right to end his life with dignity. Through the gift of his love, two women in his life, Julia (Belén Rueda), a lawyer who supports his cause, and Rosa (Lola Dueñas), a local woman who wants to convince him life is worth living, are inspired to accomplish things they never previously thought possible. Despite his wish to die, Ramón taught everyone he encountered the meaning, value and preciousness of life. Director Alejandro Amenábar (The Others) also edited, scored, co-wrote and co-produced the film.


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 Sea Inside.

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.