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Black Butterflies
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Black Butterflies (2011) More at IMDbPro »

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Black Butterflies -- Clip: Opening Credits


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Release Date:
31 March 2011 (Netherlands) See more »
Her words united a whole continent. [Scandinavian DVD.]
In apartheid-torn South Africa, poet Ingrid Jonker struggles tragically in search of love and a sense of home. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
7 wins & 4 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Finding the Essence of Ingrid Jonker See more (9 total) »


  (in credits order)

Carice van Houten ... Ingrid Jonker

Liam Cunningham ... Jack Cope

Rutger Hauer ... Abraham Jonker
Graham Clarke ... Uys Krige

Nicholas Pauling ... Eugene Maritz

Candice D'Arcy ... Anna Jonker
Ceridwen Morris ... Marjorie

Grant Swanby ... Jan Rabie
Waldemar Schultz ... Etienne le Roux
Tarryn Page ... Irma
Louis Pretorius ... Mike Loots

Damon Berry ... Pieter Venter
Martinus Van Der Berg ... Marius Schoon (as Marthinus Van den Berg)
Florence Masebe ... Maria
Jennifer Steyn ... Lucille Jonker (Lulu)
Thami Mbongo ... Nkosi (as Thamsanqua Mbongo)
Nicholas Allers ... Elderly man
Diane Wilson ... Ouma
Euodia Sampson ... Muslim woman
Albert Maritz ... Bus conductor
Shannyn Fourie ... Eugene's wife
Sylvia Esau ... Woman in Nyanga
Peter Butler ... Man in bus
Chris Majiedt ... Fisherman
Sabrina Oschmann ... Young Ingrid
Fallin Robertson ... Young Anna
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Gary Green ... Artist
Sabine Soetanto

Leon Clingman ... Valkenberg receptionist (uncredited)

Directed by
Paula van der Oest 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Greg Latter 

Produced by
Michael Auret .... producer
Marina Blok .... co-producer: NTR
Richard Claus .... producer
Arnold Heslenfeld .... executive producer
Amanda Law .... line producer
Petra Pechackova .... associate producer
Frans van Gestel .... producer
Arry Voorsmit .... producer
Original Music by
Philip Miller 
Cinematography by
Giulio Biccari (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Sander Vos 
Casting by
Ana Feyder  (as Anna Feyder)
Job Gosschalk 
Christa Schamberger 
Jeremy Zimmermann  (as Jeremy Zimmerman)
Production Design by
Darryl Hammer 
Art Direction by
Darryl Hammer 
Set Decoration by
Ashleigh Tobias 
Costume Design by
Rae Donnelly 
Makeup Department
Shanaaz Alexander .... assistant makeup artist
Raine Edwards .... makeup department head
Francesca Van Der Feyst .... key hair stylist
Production Management
Amanda Law .... unit production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Graham Hickson .... first assistant director
Reinier Smit .... assistant director
Reinier Smit .... second unit director (uncredited)
Art Department
Mark Risk .... storyboard artist
Surisa Surisa .... property master
Sound Department
Barry Donnelly .... dialogue editor
Barry Donnelly .... re-recording mixer
Barry Donnelly .... supervising sound editor
Philip Olckers .... foley artist
Philip Olckers .... second assistant sound editor
Michaël Sauvage .... adr recordist (as Michael Sauvage)
James Shannon .... dolby sound consultant
Mark Shehab .... assistant sound editor
Mark Shehab .... foley recordist
Visual Effects by
Graeme Armstrong .... compositor
Jeremy Hattingh .... visual effects supervisor
Kailyn Johnson .... visual effects artist
Louise Mycielski .... visual effects coordinator
Fir Suidema .... visual effects artist
Fir Suidema .... visual effects coordinator
Andre Van Der Merwe .... visual effects producer
Paul Pieterse .... stunt performer
Camera and Electrical Department
Billy Charlton .... camera operator: b cam
Philip Francis .... first assistant camera
Zane Kassiem .... grip
Zak Katz .... set digital image technician
Djuma Masudi .... grip
Jefri Meintjes .... second assistant a-camera
Zak O'Leary .... key grip (as Zak 'Ebenezzer' O'Leary)
Coco Van Oppens .... videographer
Adi Visser .... steadicam operator
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Carol Isaacs .... wardrobe supervisor
Claudia Littlefield .... costume supervisor
Terence Norman .... key costumer
Lynn Paulsen .... textile artist
Editorial Department
Donovan Bush .... colorist
Heino Henning .... on-line editor
Louise Mycielski .... post-production coordinator
Tahnee Wright .... post coordinator south ffrica
Location Management
Jerome Williams .... location assistant
Music Department
Gavan Eckhart .... musical director
Mark van den Oever .... music clearance services
Transportation Department
Andre Bennett .... driver
Winnie Weber .... driver: cast
Other crew
Angelique de Kock .... accounts cashier
Amanda Kotze .... assistant accountant
Jason Martin .... assistant marine coordinator
Reinier Smit .... script supervisor
Arry Voorsmit .... development executive
Roland Wigman .... legal counsel

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
100 min
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Carice van Houten and Liam Cunningham would go on to star in the HBO series "Game of Thrones" together.See more »
Movie Connections:


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10 out of 23 people found the following review useful.
Finding the Essence of Ingrid Jonker, 8 April 2012
Author: gradyharp from United States

BLACK BUTTERFLIES is a biographical drama based on the life of Ingrid Jonker. For those who are unfamiliar with this poet the following description my aid in the appreciation of this film: 'Ingrid Jonker (19 September 1933 - 19 July 1965) was a South African poet. Although she wrote in Afrikaans, her poems have been widely translated into other languages. Ingrid Jonker has reached iconic status in South Africa and is often called the South African Sylvia Plath, owing to the intensity of her work and the tragic course of her turbulent life. Her work has also been compared to that of Anne Sexton.' Greg Latter has written the screenplay that attempts to give us all the facets of this enigmatic personality and the film is directed by Paula van der Oest. It is obviously an act of love.

We meet Ingrid and her sister Anna as children, poor, without shoes, and taken to the home of their Apartheid father Abraham Jonker (Rutger Hauer) the Minister of Censorship for the parliament of South Africa. As Ingrid (Carice van Houten) matures she becomes a beautiful, but impetuous young poet, feeling abandoned, blaming others, promiscuous, escaping in excessive drinking too much in order to feel safe and able to cope, and becoming overwhelmed by conflicting emotions, which characterize some common personality disorders. At her father's demand she married Pieter, has a daughter by him, and leaves him because she feels trapped. While swimming in the ocean she nearly drowns but is saved by writer Jack Cope (Liam Cunningham) - this act results in a love relationship and despite Jack's decaying marriage they plan to live together. They both support the young South African poet Nkos (Thamsanqua Mbongo) and aid his escape form South Africa to Europe in hopes of finding freedom to write. Ingrid's and Jack's relationship is passionate and stormy: Ingrid has affairs simply because she has the freedom of mind to do so, and the affair with one Eugene Maritz (Nicholas Pauling), a married man, drives Jack away. Ingrid aborts the child she conceived with Jack (Jack does not know this) and eventually does the same with a child conceived with Eugene. All the while Ingrid is suffering form her inner demons but at the same time becoming more aware of the cruelty of Apartheid. Her writings reflect these feelings and are censored by her father. Yet her greatest collection of poems about the Apartheid are published despite her father's wishes and her father disowns her for being a wasted 'slut.' Ingrid's increasingly bizarre behavior results in several psychiatric hospitalizations and suicide attempts and she goes to Paris where she is treated with electroconvulsive therapy. The treatment calms her but robs her of the ability to write poetry and during the night of 19 July 1965, Jonker went to the beach at Three Anchor Bay in Cape Town where she walked into the sea and committed suicide by drowning.

Carice van Houten, Liam Cunningham, and Rutger Hauer offer brilliant performances and the support cast is strong - Candice D'Arcy as Ingrid's sister Anna, Grant Swanby as Jan Rabie, and Graham Clarke as Jack's closest mate Uys Krige. During the film's credits we hear Nelson Mandela reading Ingrid's prize winning poem 'The Dead Child of Nyanga', probably the most important poem to influence the end of Apartheid.

She searched for a home, she searched for love. Confronted by Apartheid and a father who was Minister of censorship. With men like Jack Cope and Andre Brink she found much love, but no home. In his first speech to the South African Parliament Nelson Mandela read her poem "The Dead Child of Nyanga" and addresses her as one of the finest poets of South Africa. The child is not dead The child lifts his fists against his mother Who shouts Afrika ! shouts the breath Of freedom and the veld In the locations of the cordoned heart

The child lifts his fists against his father in the march of the generations who shouts Afrika ! shout the breath of righteousness and blood i n the streets of his embattled pride

The child is not dead not at Langa nor at Nyanga not at Orlando nor at Sharpeville nor at the police station at Philippi where he lies with a bullet through his brain

The child is the dark shadow of the soldiers on guard with rifles Saracens and batons the child is present at all assemblies and law-givings the child peers through the windows of houses and into the hearts of mothers this child who just wanted to play in the sun at Nyanga is everywhere the child grown to a man treks through all Africa

the child grown into a giant journeys through the whole world Without a pass

This is a courageous and deeply moving film about a great poet. Grady Harp, April 12

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