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|Fernando Fernán Gómez||Don Gregorio|
|Gonzalo Martin Uriarte||Ramon|
|Alexis de Los Santos||Andres|
|José Luis Cuerda||Director, Executive Producer|
|Alejandro Amenábar||Score Composer|
|Fernando Bovaira||Executive Producer|
|Goldstein & Steinberg||Sound/Sound Designer|
|Josep Rosell||Art Director|
|Javier G. Salmones||Cinematographer|
Posted October 1, 2010
'La Lengua de las mariposas' (BUTTERFLY) is a small miracle of a film, one of those magical experiences that reminds us about the beauty of life but also about the realities of living in a world ruled by politics and adversity and how all of that affects the vulnerable child. The Spanish title refers to the tongue of the butterfly that must trust the throat of a flower to deliver its nectar and at the same time the flower must trust the deliverer of its procreation. And there is much to be found in that brief title. The time is 1936 in the region of Galicia in Spain when the country is on the verge of a civil war. We meet Moncho (Manuel Lozano, an amazing child actor) who is also known as Sparrow, who lives with his tailor father and housewife mother and older brother Andrés (Alexis de los Santos) who plays the saxophone. Moncho is to begin school and is terrified of being ridiculed because of the breathing apparatus he must carry to treat his asthma. But to school he goes and there he is taken under the wing of the kind old teacher Don Gregorio (the brilliant Fernando Fernán Gómez) who gently introduces Moncho to the finer things in education - the observation of nature and the miracles of life. Moncho makes friends with Roque (Tamar Novas) and together the lads discover some of the realities of life: they observe a bizarre sexual encounter which later will reveal much about Moncho's family, and they begin to learn about the political adversity that colors the lives of the conservative Catholic little community. Andrés falls in love with a Chinese girl and therein lies another complex lesson in life. Eventually the political life comes to a head and the entry of Franco's regime divides the people between republicanism and communism, and Moncho must face the cruelties that befall his mentor as he must side with his family. And the effect of the loving, meaningful relationship between teacher and pupil is left for the viewer to decide. As directed by José Luis Cuerda and written by Cuerda and Rafael Azcona based on stories by Galician writer and journalist Manuel Rivas, the film, while always a work of great beauty and tenderness, feels a bit fragmented at times, probably due to the fact that separate stories were combined in one film, leaving portions of some sidebars with an incomplete resolution. But the wonder of the film lies in the acting by both Fernando Fernán Gómez and Manuel Lozano who together create a memorable bond that already has become a cinematic gold standard. The cinematography by Javier G. Salmones and the simple but note perfect musical score by Alejandro Amenábar set standards for Spanish filmmaking. This is a story to inform and to remind us how we as human beings are prone to follow external influences more than obeying our hearts and caring for our souls. BUTTERFLY paints a vivid portrait of Spain on the knife of revolution and the effects such changes can make in the eyes of a child. It is a brilliant little movie. In Spanish and Latin with English subtitles. Highly recommended. Grady HarpWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 1, 2010
A series of vignettes about the coming-of-age of a young boy in the months preceeding the Spanish Civil War, Lengua De Las Mariposas walks a thin line between both sentimental and hopeless. The film is Spanish with English subtitles. While English viewers may not understand some of the historical references, a basic knowledge of the Civil War is all that is required to grasp the film. The cinematography is artful and the soundtrack superb. The message, however, is open to interpretation. The film explores the corruption of innocence and the abrupt ending will leave the viewer with a darker image of human nature.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 1, 2010
This is a wonderful piece of film, cleverly crafted as it combines the literature with film. A heartwarming story that is guarenteed to excite you from start to finish. The film is in Spanish to further emphasise and issue the Spanish feeling but English subtext is present at the bottom.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.