For Moncho, it's an idyllic year: he starts school, he has a wonderful teacher, he makes a friend in Roque, he begins to figure out some of the mysteries of Eros, and, with his older ...
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Ourense, Spain, 1940. Every time that Elena locks the door, she locks her secrets. Her husband Ricardo spend years hidden in his house with his children (Elenita and Lorenzo), trying to ... See full summary »
True story of thirteen totally normal young women that suffered harsh questioning and were put in prison under made up charges of helping the rebellion against Franco back in the 1940's. ... See full summary »
Emilio Martínez Lázaro
Pilar López de Ayala,
El Bola, a 12 year old boy a.k.a. "Pellet" is a 12 year old boy raised in a violent and sordid environment. Embarrassed by his family life, he avoids becoming close to classmates. The ... See full summary »
Juan José Ballesta,
God decides to send another son to the earth to save the world. Jesus Christ disagrees because in such a case the history should be rewritten. To solve the dispute they decide to organise ... See full summary »
José Luis Cuerda
Fernando Fernán Gómez,
At the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, the nun Maria is forced to flee her convent. She takes refuge in a brothel, until it is liberated by a woman's anarchist group. Maria joins the ... See full summary »
Spring 1936, a young unemployed communist, David, leaves his hometown Liverpool to join the fight against fascism in Spain. He joins an international group of Militia-men and women, the ... See full summary »
For Moncho, it's an idyllic year: he starts school, he has a wonderful teacher, he makes a friend in Roque, he begins to figure out some of the mysteries of Eros, and, with his older brother, a budding saxophone player, he makes a trip with the band from their town in Galicia. But it's also the year that the Spanish Republic comes under fire from Fascist rebels. Moncho's father is a Republican as is the aging teacher, Don Gregorio. As sides are drawn and power falls clearly to one side, the forces of fear, violence, and betrayal alter profoundly what should be the pleasure of coming of age. Written by
It's a beautiful (and too rare) thing to witness a child actor who can avoid the saccharine cutesiness so common to mainstream American child actors. In this film full of children there are, happily, no cloying, exaggerated "cute kid" moments.
The real beauty of La lengua de las mariposas is what's unspoken -- the truths that remain between the lines. The film's political theme is never heavy-handed, and its vivid and fascinating depiction of a turbulent moment in Spanish history has inspired in me a desire to learn more. Without spoiling the ending (which I read as fairly subversive, at least to an American audience), I must say I wasn't entirely surprised at what happened. It brought a tear to my eye and it's still making me think, three days later.
Those who liked this film should also see La Vita e Bella (Life Is Beautiful) and La notte di San Lorenzo (Night Of Shooting Stars), which are similar and may appeal equally, if not more.
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