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Butterfly (Widescreen) (Bilingual)

4.4 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

Price: CDN$ 19.97
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Product Details

  • Actors: Manuel Lozano, Fernando Fernán Gómez, Uxía Blanco, Gonzalo Uriarte, Alexis de los Santos
  • Directors: José Luis Cuerda
  • Writers: José Luis Cuerda, Manuel Rivas, Rafael Azcona
  • Producers: Ana Míguez, Emiliano Otegui, Fernando Bovaira, Jose Maria Iresteiro
  • Format: Anamorphic, Color, DVD-Video, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: French, Spanish
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: R
  • Studio: Miramax
  • Release Date: Feb. 20 2001
  • Run Time: 96 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B000056N91
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #82,614 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

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.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
This film is so extremely heart-warming throughout ... until the very end ... when it becomes exactly the opposite, heart-breaking. The story is completly absorbing and fascinating. The viewer is captivated and caught up in the lives of Mancho a young boy who begins school for the first time, his older brother who plays the saxophone who later finds a Chinese girl with whom he falls in love, his father a tailor, and his teacher Don Gregorio. The kind elderly teacher helps Mancho adjust in many ways by providing personalized individual attention. He helps open his mind to learning about nature and literature. Mancho has asthma and his mother worries about how this will affect her son during school. In one scene, Don Gregorio helps Mancho avert a respiratory crisis ... In gratitude for the help given to his son, Mancho's father makes a new suit for the teacher, free of charge. This innocent act will eventually be turned into something cruel and unexpected when the political climate of civil war causes the citizens to denounce each other ...

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 ...
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Format: VHS Tape
"Butterfly" ("Mariposa" in Spanish) is a Spanish film set in 1936, in the pre-stages of the Spanish Civil War.
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.
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Format: DVD
Another reviewer lamented this film's "obscure metaphors." Here's a hint: there aren't any. No knowledge of Spanish history is needed to understand any part of this film besides the very end, and anyone who took world history should know that the fascists carted off everyone they didn't like at the beginning of the civil war. To say that the western world has forgotten the Spanish civil war is akin to saying that the western world has forgotten the holocaust, the only greater atrocity ever committed on European soil.
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!
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Format: DVD
I would've given this film the 3 stars that it deserves, but I felt I had to cancel out all the nincompoops who give "Easy 5's" in their reviews.
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.
How sad...
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