The Skin I Live In

Synopsis: In honor of his late wife who died in a flaming car accident, scientist, Dr. Robert Ledgard, is trying to synthesize the perfect skin which can withstand burns, cuts or any other kind of damage. As he gets closer to perfecting this skin on his flawless patient, the scientific community starts growing skeptical and his past is revealed that shows how his patient is closely linked to tragic events he would like to forget.
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Director(s): Pedro Almodóvar
Production: Sony Pictures Classics
  Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 27 wins & 66 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
120 min


Help me with the dumbwaiter.

Open it.

Take this.

Marilia, are you there?


Send up more sackcloth

and double-sided tape.

I can't get it until tomorrow.


I also wanted a needle,

thread and scissors.

You're joking, right?


Our face identifies us.

For burn victims,

saving their lives is not enough.

They need to have a face

even if it's from a corpse.

A face with features...

so they can gesticulate.

I have participated in

three out of the nine

face transplants

carried out in the world...

and they were the most moving

experiences of my life.


For a shapeless mass to acquire

the features that will give it expression...

we have to mold the muscles...

articulating the facial musculature

with the corresponding nerve endings.


Vera, I've brought you some opium.


Can you breathe more gently?

If you want me

to stop breathing, kill me.

Don't talk rubbish.

How long will all this last?

Your skin is softer than I thought.

If you don't end it, I will.

If you'd wanted to kill yourself...

you'd have tried to cut your jugular.

In any case...

I didn't know your skin was so soft.

Here it is...

taken from the animal

while it was still alive.

Thank you.

Now there won't be any more burns.

You said that a year ago.

I was hasty.

Tell me if it burns you.


And now?



I have given the name "Gal"...

to the artificial skin

I've been working on...

in recent years.

Tell me if the mosquito bites you.

This skin is resistant

to every insect bite...


...which means a natural barrier to

...malaria, for example.

Naturally, I've carried out

a rigorous quality control...

on the tissues implanted in mammals...

specifically, in athymic mice...

and the results...

...have been spectacular.

This leads me to suppose

they would be equally positive...

in human mammals.

What does the name Gal mean?

Are they initials?

That was my wife's name.

She was burned to death in a car crash.

In you presentation you stated...

that the skin is resistant to insect bites

and could prevent malaria.

What makes you think that?

The artificial skin is much harder

than human skin...

and it smells different.

It's been proven that the malaria mosquito...

distinguishes human skin by the smell.

Gal smells different and repels it.

Let's see if we can get rid of him.

That isn't enough.

How did you toughen the skin?

Excuse me.

Let's go somewhere quieter.

There's only one way to toughen skin.

By mutating it.

Yes, that's what I did.



I transferred genetic information...

from a pig's cell to a human cell.

A pig's cell?

It's much stronger than ours.

You're insane!

You know the application

of transgenetic therapy...

in humans is completely forbidden!

Yes, I do.

And, forgive me,

but it seems the ultimate paradox.

We intervene in everything around us...

meat, clothes,

vegetables, fruit, everything!

Why not use scientific advances

to improve our species?

You know how many diseases...

we could cure with transgenesis?

Or the genetic malformations

that could be avoided?

Don't go on!

I know the list by heart...

and I think of it every day.

But even so...

I must forbid you from

investigating further...

or I'll be forced to report you...

to the scientific community.

Over and above what you or I may think...

the bioethics are

absolutely clear about this.

Don't worry.

Gal was a personal adventure.

I did it in memory of my wife...

and solely to extend my knowledge.

I remember...

the first time

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Thierry Jonquet

Thierry Jonquet (January 19, 1954 – August 9, 2009) was a French writer who specialised in crime novels with political themes. He was born in Paris; his most recent and best known novel outside France was Mygale (1995), then published in the US in 2003 by City Lights. Mygale was also published in the UK as Tarantula in 2005 (Serpent's Tail). He wrote over 20 novels in French, including Le bal des débris, Moloch and Rouge c'est la vie. Jonquet died aged 55 in hospital in Paris.Tarantula has been filmed by Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar, under the title The Skin I Live In, which was entered in competition in May 2011 for the Cannes Film Festival. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "The Skin I Live In" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 17 Sep. 2021. <>.

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