Triangle of Sadness, by the Swedish director Ruben Östlund, is nominated for three awards given by the Hollywood Academy, in the categories of best film, original screenplay and direction. But at Dolby, in Los Angeles, there will be one absence from the audience that will be noticed: that of Charlbi Dean, the South African model who was the protagonist of the acclaimed dramatic comedy.
Dean, whose film career finally seemed to be taking off—before Triangle of Sadnesshad had minor participations or in productions that were little recognized —, died unexpectedly on the 29th of August last, in New York, 24 hours after having been admitted to a clinic, complaining of severe headaches. The autopsy, revealed in December, concluded that it was septicemia, an extreme immune response to an infection.
Charlbi Dean was born in Cape Town, South Africa, on February 5, 1990. At just 6 years old, she started working as a model, appearing in commercials and catalogues. She signed with Alfa Model Management when she was 12 years old and her professional life was already so intense (she was one of the faces of the international Guess campaign) that, from the age of 14, she started to study in the home school regime. Only years later did she return to face-to-face classes, having attended a theater school.
His film debut came at the age of 20, in the film adaptation of Spudhaving repeated the dose in Spud 2: The Madness Continues. Other works with some relief were don’t sleep (2017) and the DC series black lightning.
Invitation to join the cast of Triangle of Sadness arrived in February 2020, the actress having shone at Cannes, in May last year, where Östlund’s film won the Palme d’Or.
What is septicemia?
Septicemia is an extreme immune response to an infection, which causes our immune system to turn against our body, as it cannot distinguish between the invading elements — whether bacteria, viruses, fungi or parasites — that are causing the problem, of the elements that it should defend, causing fatal injuries in tissues and organs.
In Portugal, according to data from the Directorate-General for Health, 22% of admissions to Intensive Care Units are due to sepsis, resulting in an overall hospital mortality rate of around 40%. The mortality of the most severe forms of sepsis, such as septic shock, is around 51%.
Septicemia is more serious in certain groups, such as the elderly, newborns and those with weak or compromised immune systems. This was the case of Charlbi Dean who, following a car accident in 2009, lived without a spleen, one of the organs responsible for filtering blood. According to the autopsy report, which identified the septicemia as bacterial (Capnocytophaga), the situation “aggravated the asplenia” (absence of a spleen), which, in itself, is an increased risk of generalized infections.