MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +2 1/2

Content: -2

Set in Republican Spain before the Spanish Civil War, this subtitled film views the changing politics of the country as it follows young Moncho (Manuel Lozano), about to start school and, like many young children, apprehensive. He has heard all the horror stories about beatings from the teacher, mostly lies told to him by his older brother, Ramn (Gonzalo Uriarte). Of course, theres no getting out for Moncho, and after a traumatic first day, finds that his new teacher is kind and elderly Don Gregorio (Fernando Fernn Gomez). Moncho and Don Gregorio begin a special relationship as the teacher opens up brand new worlds for his young student. Moncho is particularly intrigued by the world of nature, and when Don Gregorio tells him about the unique qualities of the butterflys tongue, Moncho is hooked. Their time together forms a bond unique to the teacher-student relationship. But as political tides change in Spain, Don Gregorio takes a different path from Monchos parents, which dramatically changes the relationship forever. A sweet, but tragic story of a boy and his teacher, set against the backdrop of swiftly shifting national politics, BUTTERFLY is a treat for audiences. But as a foreign language film, limited distribution will hamper catching it.

Fairly closed about his political views, Don Gregorio openly admits his atheistic views and many suspect him as a Marxist revolutionary. As the Republican government struggles to stay in power, and keep Nationalists rebels at bay, the army is occasionally sent to round up all dissenters. This forces many revolutionaries, like Don Gregorio, to keep a low profile. Although Monchos father sympathizes with the Marxist republic, his mother is a devoted Catholic who views atheistic Marxism with suspicion. But when the conservative Nationalists take power, Monchos father knows his responsibility lies in protecting his family. Survival with differing political views creates a unique strain and forces choices that are often tragic. Since the film deals with a young boy, he and his friends often get into mischief. In one scene, they follow a man to a womans farm and see him engage in sexual activity. As the boys watch, male rear and female breast are exposed during the sex scene. Subtitles in this Spanish language film translate 4 obscenities, a dozen moderate crudities and several regular profanities. Unfortunately, one graphic sex scene and some foul language spoil BUTTERFLYs otherwise thought-provoking story.

Preview Reviewer: John Adair
Miramax, 375 Greenwich, NY, NY 10013

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (12) times - Moderate

Obscene Language: Few (4) times F-word 1, s-word 1, other 2

Profanity: Several (6) times Regular 5 (G3, GD, For G sake); exclamatory 1 (good Lord)

Violence: Few times Mild and moderate (people pulled from homes, children fight, dog stabbed off-camera)

Sex: Once graphic (couple in barn w/nudity)

Nudity: Once (male rear/ female breast in sex scene)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Several times (references to sex and breasts)

Drugs: Several times alcohol and cigarette smoking

Other: Man vomits, boy urinates, atheistic teacher misleads boy

Running Time: 95 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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