7.6/10
3,132
28 user 19 critic

Swallowtail Butterfly (1996)

Suwarôteiru (original title)
The struggles of a group of immigrant outcasts living in an alternative-future, xenophobic Japanese metropolis.

Director:

Shunji Iwai

Writer:

Shunji Iwai
Reviews
4 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Hiroshi Mikami ... Feihong
Chara Chara ... Glico
Ayumi Itô ... Ageha
Yôsuke Eguchi ... Ryou Ryanki
Andy Chi-On Hui ... Maofuu
Atsuro Watabe Atsuro Watabe ... Ran
Tomoko Yamaguchi Tomoko Yamaguchi ... Shenmei
Nene Ohtsuka Nene Ohtsuka ... Reiko
Kaori Momoi ... Suzukino
Yoriko Dôguchi ... Hoshino (as Yoriko Doguchi)
Mickey Curtis Mickey Curtis ... Doctor
Tetsu Watanabe ... Yakuza boss
Sansei Shiomi Sansei Shiomi
Shirô Takehatsu Shirô Takehatsu ... (as Shiro Takehatsu)
Shiek Mahmud-Bey ... Arrow
Edit

Storyline

After a young girl's mother dies, she is cared for by Glico, a brassy hooker, who gives the girl the name "Ageha" (Butterfly). Ageha goes to work for a collection of oddballs who run a junkyard and salvage business. Written by sharptongue

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

This is the story of Yentowns in Yentown.

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese | English | Mandarin

Release Date:

14 September 1996 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Perhonen sydämessä See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Rockwell Eyes See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

 
The first film of the 21st century
28 December 1999 | by ChWasserSee all my reviews

This beautiful movie is set in present-day Japan, but shows to the rest of the world what the future might look like if the WTO brings about their goals. The film centers on some losers of globalization and free world trade who make it big when they discover a tape ("My Way"!) which allows them to make counterfeit Yen. The money soon destroys their solidarity though, and separately they have to face their own problems (expulsion to China, the Yakuza who's after the tape, drugs and a nosy journalist who wants to find the dirt in Glico's success story).

But it's a modern fairy tale, not a naturalistic drama, so expect miracles and uplifting twists and turns rather than a depressing end. The director obviously loves all his characters and so will you; the black boxer with the innocent soul of a child, the philosophical doctor/tattoo-artist, the American who speaks only Japanese, the killer with the b/w-painted face and the cool female sniper are all wonderful characters and these are just the small roles!

If you love movies where people speak in different tongues (in this case Japanese, Mandarin and English) this is THE film for you. If you don't, still go see this masterpiece of innovative filmmaking. You'll thank me for the recommendation.


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