The Butterfly

  • 1999
  • Movie
  • R
  • Drama

A young boy gets a crash course in the cruel complexity of life in this drama set in 1936 and adapted from three short stories by award-winning writer Manuel Rivas: La Lengua de las Butterflies, Carmiña and Un Saxo en la Niebla from the collection Que me Quieres, Amor? Sensitive and asthmatic, 7-year-old Moncho (Manuel Lozano) is terrified of starting...read more

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A young boy gets a crash course in the cruel complexity of life in this drama set in 1936 and adapted from three short stories by award-winning writer Manuel Rivas: La Lengua de las Butterflies, Carmiña and Un Saxo en la

Niebla from the collection Que me Quieres, Amor? Sensitive and asthmatic, 7-year-old Moncho (Manuel Lozano) is terrified of starting school. But kindly schoolmaster Don Gregorio (Fernando Fernán Gómez) takes the boy under his wing, encouraging him to read books like

Treasure Island and showing him the natural beauty that surrounds their small village in Galicia, a region of Spain with Celtic roots and its own language. The country is in a state of political turmoil; having supplanted the monarchy, the ruling Republicans have been denounced by the

church and wealthy landowners as atheistic and communist, and is under siege by the burgeoning Fascist party. Moncho's father (Gonzalo Uriarte), a tailor, has Republican sympathies, while Don Gregorio is a known atheist; both are vulnerable to shifting political winds. But before that happens,

Moncho has a series of experiences that open his eyes to the ways of the world beyond his village. He sees his adored older brother (Alexis de los Santos) get his heart broken when he falls hopelessly in love with a married woman, and learns the facts of life by spying on lusty NEIGHBOR Carmina

(Elena Fernandez) and her lover. Though beautifully photographed, acted and written (the three source stories are skillfully blended into a single narrative), this leisurely, bittersweet look at a child's loss of innocence ends rather abruptly and inconclusively. Child actor Lozano is very cute,

but his face doesn't convey much sense of the maturing mind behind the wide eyes, which makes the crucial scene in which he commits an act of betrayal especially unsatisfying.

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  • Released: 1999
  • Rating: R
  • Review: A young boy gets a crash course in the cruel complexity of life in this drama set in 1936 and adapted from three short stories by award-winning writer Manuel Rivas: La Lengua de las Butterflies, Carmiña and Un Saxo en la Niebla from the collection Que me… (more)

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