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Butterfly (Widescreen) (Bilingual)
From the Back Cover
Acclaimed by critics and featuring legendary star Fernando Fernan Gomez (All About My Mother), Butterfly is a heartwarming tale about a young boy growing up in a small Spanish town. Moncho is timid and fearful as he starts school for the first time. But with the nuturing guidance of his kind and devoted teacher, Don Gregorio (Fernan Gomez), a world of possibilities begins to open up for young Moncho. As the school year comes to a close, however, civil war begins sweeping across the country, forcing the boy's family and community to choose between the fight for freedom and the threat of persecution! An amazing story of family and friendship during a time of extreme conflict--you're sure to enjoy this magical motion picture.
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Top Customer Reviews
There are numerous endearing scenes between Mancho and Don Gregorio as the teacher mentors his young pupil. Mancho also learns many things about life and the world in the manner boys often learn, from friends. For example, he and his friend visit the local tavern where a male patron describes/brags to the local bartender about his physical love relationship with a local female. The two boys follow the patron to her home where they spy on their liason ... One of the funniest scenes is when the ladies dog, Tarzan tries to bite the boyfriend's naked butt as he is engaging in making love to her. The boyfriend is enraged by the dog and his constant barking and later exacts revenge in a very cruel manner ...Read more ›
Filmed in the standard European method (i.e., very well!), this film brings together Moncho (a young boy), his family, his village and its politics, and an aging school teacher, who only wants to teach that everyone should live free (or "at least one generation of Spaniards should live free!"). It is a heartwarming and heartbreaking film about the struggles, internally and outwardly: of trying to grow up and understand an adult world that seems bizarre at best, of wrestling with a myriad of political "solutions" facing the country at the time (which pitted Church against king against the fascists against the communists, thus leaving innocent Moncho completely confused.
The film quite adequately carries these themes and, alas, with no happy conclusion (it's not Hollywood, after all!). Moncho sees this adult world come crashing down upon his own sensibilities, and being six years old, find himself unable not only to cope with it but not to be able to understand it at all, try as hard as he may. Politics wins out, at least at this time and civil liberties (certainly a stranger to Spain at that time in history) once more fall by the camino real.
"Butterfly" makes a striking statement about the Human Condition, and how some cope, some reject, some distort, and some accept it. Seen from the perspective of Americans who seem to take civil liberties for granted, freedom on every corner, and rights in abundance, we can only feel saddened that these citizens know not freedom's ring. We do know, however, even though perhaps in another venue, the heartbreak of deception, of lost love, of being manipulated by false forces.
This is a powerful film that, subtitles aside (American audiences don't always "accept" them!), is worth the effort.
But about the movie itself. The cinematography is beautiful, and the acting is excellent. The subtitles are for the hearing impared, which is a little annoying, but it's easy enough to ignore "[dog barks]." The only fault I can find with the film is that it tends to digress a little too much; there are several peripheral episodes that never really go anywhere. The soundtrack is amazing. Definitely one of the best movies to come out of Spain in a long time!
The beginning of this film is moving, captivating, poignant; the ending of this film is also.
Unfortunately, what you have in between is a bunch of unrecognizable, undecipherable metaphor which starts to bore you in short order. It looks as though this film was lifted from a written work in which this middle metaphors were more easily discernible. However, when you make the darn thing a film, for goodness sakes, you have to be less subtle about things. Explain yourself, Mr. Moviemaker. Most of western civ. has forgotten there ever was a Spanish Civil War, and yet you expect us to grasp your hidden, esoteric metaphors???
Have you ever actually met another living human being who has read George Orwell's "Homage to Catalonia"? Almost without exception--NO.
Thus, this movie could have been SOOOOOO much better, if they just explained things better.
The beginning and the ending are powerful. Then there's all that yawn-fest material in-between.
Most recent customer reviews
A sugar-coated political story. Spain was in the twilight of political tyranny. The science teacher, however well-educated and well-meaning he was, his torch of enlightenment was... Read morePublished on April 27 2003 by BLee
La pelicula se basa en un libro que consta de una serie de cuentos escrito por el joven escritor gallego, Manuel Rivas. La coleccion se llama "Que me quieres, Amor?". Read morePublished on Oct. 7 2002
Shortly after Franco died (1975), Spain saw a flurry of movies, TV series and books about the Civil War. Read morePublished on Dec 28 2001 by Manola Sommerfeld
"Butterfly" is one of the best Spanish movies I've ever seen. Translated literally from Spanish as "The tongue of the butterflies," it is a look at life just... Read morePublished on May 29 2001 by Rachel Dziallo
...I have seen so many coming of age films, especially foreign ones, that only a few stand out for me anymore as 5 star films. Read morePublished on May 13 2001 by carol irvin
I had to go see two spanish films for one of my college courses. I am not really into foreign films. Read morePublished on March 7 2001 by Cathy
This is a memorable film with beautiful images of Galicia, Spain. The story will take you from laughter to worthwhile tears. Read morePublished on Jan. 3 2001
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