Release Date: June 16, 2000
Genre: Historical Drama
Audience: Older children & adults
Runtime: 93 minutes
Distributor: Miramax Films
Director: Jose Luis Cuerda
Executive Producer: Fernando Bovaira & Jose Luis Cuerda
Writer: Rafael Azcona
Address Comments To:Bob & Harvey Weinstein, Co-Chairmen
Tribeca Film Center
375 Greenwich Street
New York, NY 10013-2338
Moncho is an asthmatic boy who lives with his socialist father, a tailor, his religious mother and his teenage brother. The boy befriends his kindly socialist teacher, Don Gregorio, who gets funding from the newly formed Spanish Republic. The teacher refuses to punish his students by hitting them. He teaches Moncho about literature and nature. In one scene, he tells the boy he doesn’t believe in Hell, thereby contradicting what his religious mother believes. During his retirement ceremonies, the kindly Don Gregorio bravely declares, “If we allow just one generation to grow up in freedom, they will never take away our liberty.”
Meanwhile, Moncho learns about sex from his young friend at school. In one scene, they follow an alcoholic man who has a sexual rendezvous with a young woman. The immoral fornication is interrupted by the woman’s dog. Moncho returns home asking his brother about what he saw.
After a series of small adventures with Don Gregorio and his brother, a budding musician in a traveling band, the fascists finally take over the Spanish government. Moncho’s father is listening to the radio in the local saloon at night as the news media reports on the takeover. Moncho and his friend decide to again follow the drunken man, who appears suddenly in the saloon. They see him kill the young woman’s dog by brutally shoving a long stick down its throat.
As disturbances begin to break out in the village, Moncho’s religious mother forces her socialist husband to lay low and to even burn his political materials. Then, a mob forms outside a house where some leftwing agitators are being held by the police. The arrested men are led out of the house one by one. Moncho’s religious mother eggs on her husband and even her children to shout anti-Communist epithets at the men, even when they see that Don Gregorio is one of the men. In the final shots, Moncho races after the truck carrying Don Gregorio to prison, not fully understanding the meaning of the anti-Communist words he shouts.
BUTTERFLY is a well-made piece of secular humanist propaganda that obviously displays a hatred toward the Roman Catholic church and, by extension, anyone else who might believe in the doctrines of Jesus Christ. Thus, the religious mother eggs on her husband and her children to participate in the mob hatred against the kindly old socialist teacher. There is a pro-socialist subtext to all this since the socialist, humanist teacher is supposedly the most enlightened, most courageous, most freedom-loving, kindest man in the village. As one critic said about this movie, “You just know that there are dark forces lying low in the community, including the church, waiting for the opportunity to bring Spain under right-wing military rule.”
BUTTERFLY also includes some strong foul language, crude language about sex, brief nudity, and a scene where a couple begins to fornicate. Considering that, and the movie’s anti-Christian, humanist worldview, it wouldn’t be surprising to see this movie get an Oscar for best foreign language movie when the New Hollywood Left gathers next spring.
BUTTERFLY is a well-made piece of secular humanist propaganda that obviously displays a hatred toward the Roman Catholic church and, by extension, anyone else who might believe in the doctrines of Jesus Christ. Thus, the religious mother eggs on her husband and her children to participate in the mob hatred against the kindly old socialist teacher. BUTTERFLY also includes some strong foul language, crude language about sex, brief nudity, and a scene where a couple begins to fornicate