I watched the film ‘Papillon’ a few days ago and enjoyed it very much. From memory, the film captures the sense of place, feeling of utter desperation, and cruelty of both the people and environment, found in the book on which it is based. It doesn’t follow the story to the letter – few films do – but this becomes a non-issue considering that many people question whether the author truly experienced all these adventures and hardships, or whether he ‘borrowed’ stories from other prisoners. Whatever the truth may be, I highly recommend reading the book and then watching the film.
In one scene, fellow inmate Louis Dega (played by Dustin Hoffman) is talking to Papillon (a role superbly executed by Steve McQueen) and makes a statement of the ‘somebody once said’ variety, that really struck home: