display | more...

Mar Adentro is a brilliant portrayal of the life and death of the quadriplegic Ramon Sampedro played by Javier Bardem. Released in 2004, written, produced and directed by Alejandro Amenábar it deals with the contentious issue of euthanasia and suicide.

What would you do if you are paralysed from head to toe and all that you can do is breathe and digest and just perform the mere biological functions necessary to live? What if you cannot see, hear, smell, taste and your skin cannot feel? What if you can feel love but cannot express it? What if you cannot make love? Who decides whether you should live - the state, the church, the family, your lover or are you the only person responsible for your life and death? These are some of the questions raised in the movie.

I believe, the argument against euthanasia and suicide is fundamentally based on the need for human survival. If suicide was permitted in the early stages of humanity (I don't believe in creationism), the species of humans would not have multiplied to the current level. This is exactly the reason why killing is considered a crime whereas, all other forms of brutality are justified by the creative use of language. In highly individualistic societies, where the majority of the population are in a position to think and take decisions regarding their life, I believe the same argument applies for death. In a collectivistic society where the individual does not exist at all and where he is part of a chain, his suicide might have catastrophic results. If Ernest Hemingway has the right to commit suicide and everybody acknowledges his right, why not the person who is completely paralysed? Should he live to  uplift the morale of humanity? Should he live to give the worthless, reasons for their pitiful existence? Should he write poems and books justifying (or condemning) his living? If you are interested in such questions, this is a necessary watch. Even otherwise, it is worth 120 minutes of anyone who is interested in movies. The last shot featuring the main protagonist is one of the best in contemporary cinema.