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Mar Adentro (Sea Inside) – 2004 – PG13 – Biography/Drama – 125 mins

“Mar Adentro” is the true story of Ramon Sampedro (Javier Bardem) who fought a 30 year campaign for the right to die. This Spanish movie was written and directed by Alejandro Amenábar and it won the 2004 Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film and the 2004 Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film. It also scooped an impressive 14 Goya Awards including awards for Best Film, Best Director, Best Lead Actor, Best Lead Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress and Best Original Screenplay. The film also stars Belén Rueda, Lolo Dueñas, Mabel Rivera and Celso Bugallo.

Ramon Sampedro, played by A-List Spanish actor Javier Bardem, is a Spanish ship mechanic who has an accident whilst driving and is left quadriplegic (completely paralysed). Mar Adentro follows his long campaign in support of euthanasia and the right to end his own life with dignity. The film principally explores Ramón’s relationships with Julia and Rosa. Julia, played by Spanish actress Belén Rueda, is a lawyer who suffers from Cadasil syndrome (a hereditary stroke disorder) and supports his desire to die and Rosa, played by Spanish actress Lolo Dueñas, is a local woman who tries to convince him that life is worth living. Despite his wish to die, Ramón teaches everyone he meets the meaning, value and preciousness of life and inspires others to accomplish things they never thought possible.

Writer and Director, Alejandro Amenábar, was born in Santiago, Chile, the son of a Spanish mother and a Chilean father. When he was 1 year old the Amenábar family moved to Spain and Alejandro grew up in Madrid. At the age of 19 he wrote, produced and directed his first film “La cabeza”. He made his name with his 1997 film “Open Your Eyes” which starred Penelope Cruz. This was a massive success in Spain and was later remade in Hollywood in 2001 by Cameron Crowe as “Vanilla Sky”, starring Tom Cruise, Penelope Cruz again and Cameron Diaz. Amenábar’s first English language film was the, also very successful, “The Others”, released in 2001, starring Nicole Kidman and Christopher Eccleston.

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