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The Sea Inside sweeps Goyas with 14 awards

Story by: Jack Foley

ALEJANDRO Amenabar's Oscar-nominated film, The Sea Inside, swept the board at Spain's top movie awards, winning 14 prizes.

The film tells the true story of Ramon Sampedro, a man paralysed in a freak accident as a young man, who lived as a quadriplegic for 30 years and battled for the right to die with dignity.

It won best film, best director (for Amenabar) and best actor, for its star, Javier Bardem, making it the firm favourite for Oscar success in the best foreign language film category at the end of February.

It also picked up the best actress prize, for Lola Duenas, best supporting actress, supporting actor, newcomer actor and actress, script, photography, make-up and music.

The film, which has consistently been showered with praise by critics, also won a Golden Globe for best foreign language film, as well as numerous accolades at film festivals and critics' awards around the world.

Commenting in the publicity for the film, director, Amenabar said that he 'would like the film to be seen as a tribute'.

"This is something that I felt when I finished the film, that it be a tribute to the ones who pass away, and a balm for the ones who remain."

Asked how he viewed the way Sampedro coped with his paralysis as opposed to Christopher Reeve, who was injured in a similarly freak accident, and who died last year, the director added:

"I think he was the opposite side of the coin. I truly think both these men were extraordinary. When I was writing the film, I was conscious of anyone who endures and wants to go on living. I didn’t want the film to be an insult to them. I tried to be very careful with that, I didn’t want to encourage people to kill themselves, but I wanted to tell the story of this man.

"Eventually, it’s just about asking yourself how much you love your life. In my case the more he said he wanted to die, the more I respected him and at the same time the more alive I felt."



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