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M. Butterfly (1993) Poster

(1993)

Quotes

Song Liling: Now that we embark on the most forbidden of loves, I'm so afraid of my destiny.

Rene Gallimard: There is no destiny, except the one we make for ourselves.

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Rene Gallimard: The Oriental woman: when she's good, she's very very very good. But when she's bad, she's Christian!

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Song Liling: Comrade! Why in Beijing opera are woman's roles traditionally played by men?

Comrade Chin: I don't know. Most probably a remnant of the reactionary and patriarchal social structure.

Song Liling: No. It's because only a man knows how a woman is supposed to act.

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Song Liling: Please come back. My audiences miss the white devil in their midst.

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Song Liling: The days I spent with you were the only days I ever truly existed.

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Song Liling: He was very responsive to my ancient Oriental ways of love, all of which I invented myself, just for him.

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Song Liling: The Oriental woman has always held a certain fascination for you Caucasian men. Is that not true?

Rene Gallimard: Yes, but that fascination is imperialist, or so you tell me.

Song Liling: Yes, it is always imperialist. Sometimes... sometimes it is also mutual.

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Song Liling: I am slightly afraid of scandal.

Rene Gallimard: What are we doing that's scandalous?

Song Liling: I'm entertaining you in my parlor.

Rene Gallimard: Where I come from, that would hardly be construed as...

Song Liling: You come from France. France is a country living in the modern era, perhaps even ahead of it. China is a nation whose soul is firmly rooted 2000 years in the past. What I do - even pouring tea for you now - it has implications. Please go. Please, Monsieur Gallimard...

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Rene Gallimard: Our world is changing. We French lost our war in Indochina because we failed to learn about the people we sought to lead. It's natural, therefore - correct, even - that they should resent us. How could they do otherwise, when we refused to treat them like fellow human beings?

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Ambassador Toulon: You said the Americans would succeed in Vietnam. You were kidding, right?

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Song Liling: Under the robes, beneath everything, it was always me. Tell me you adore me.

Rene Gallimard: How could you, who understood me so well, make such a mistake? You've shown me your true self, and what I love was the lie, perfect lie, that's been destroyed.

Song Liling: You never really loved me.

Rene Gallimard: I'm a man who loved a woman created by a man. Anything else simply falls short.

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Ambassador Toulon: The Americans always love to hear how welcome they are.

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Comrade Chin: Don't you understand how degrading those images are to women? And why do you have to behave this way when he is not even here?

Song Liling: Comrade, in order to better serve the Great Proletarian State, I practice my deception as often as possible. I despise this costume, yet for the sake of our Great Helmsman, I will endure it, along with all the other bourgeois Western perversions.

Comrade Chin: I'm not convinced that this will be enough to redeem you in the eyes of the Party.

Song Liling: I'm trying my best to become somebody else.

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Drunk in Paris bar: [Hearing pro-Communist students parading outside] God damn it! Must be those fucking students again! Talk about China? I'll be you if go out that door you'll think you're back in Beijing! Every damn leftist student in Paris has Mao's little red book in his hand, and a red firecracker up his ass!

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Rene Gallimard: You made me see the beauty of the story, of her death. It's, it's pure sacrifice. He's not worthy of it, but what can she do? She loves him so much. It's very beautiful.

Song Liling: Well, yes, to a Westerner.

Rene Gallimard: I beg your pardon?

Song Liling: It's one of your favorite fantasies, isn't it? The submissive Oriental woman and the cruel white man.

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Song Liling: Well, education has always been undervalued in the West, hasn't it?

Rene Gallimard: I wouldn't say that.

Song Liling: No, of course you wouldn't. After all, how can you objectively judge your own values?

Rene Gallimard: I think it's possible to achieve a little distance.

Song Liling: Do you?

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Frau Baden: Still playing the missionary are you, Gallimard? Or... are there other positions that interest you as well?

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Song Liling: Why, in Chinese theater, are women always played by men? Because only men know how women should act.

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See also

Trivia | Goofs | Crazy Credits | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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