Fighting to die: Mar adentro
in Alejandro Amenábar
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Amenábar has never seriously thought of himself as a political filmmaker, in the manner of a Costa Gavras or a Ken Loach. This chapter begins by supplying as far as possible a straightforward, non-partisan account of Sampedro's life and death. It looks at the development of the film project and the role of Gené Gordó in providing Amenábar with a suitable dramatic focus. The chapter then considers various generic issues which modulate Amenábar's version of the story. It explores key aspects of casting and performance, a crucial area in a film whose real-life case was still sub judice when it was made. The chapter compares Amenábar's big-screen version with a Spanish television movie version made three years earlier, and explore several aspects of the media construction and reception of Amenábar's pro-euthanasia film, by looking at the arguments for the opposition via a specific case study.

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