ARIA. Inspired by Puccini's opera Madame Butterfly, this exquisite stop-motion film by Canadian director Pjotr Sapegin relates the eternal and heartbreaking tale of unrequited love.



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A sea captain goes ashore on a small island in the Pacific, carrying a funnel gramophone under his arm. He meets a native girl with a butterfly on her head. They make love on the shore, while he is playing an aria from "Madame Butterfly" on his gramophone. After their short union he gives her his captain hat and the funnel gramophone, and sails away. Every day she plays the aria, while looking at the horizon, waiting for his return. After nine months she delivers a baby. She is happy with her child, playing with it every day. After some years the ship returns. The sea captain drives a white car out of the vessel and up to the girl at the top of the island. Along with him in his car are his wife and their children. He is happy to find that he has another child here on the island. He and his wife take the child away from the girl and put it in their car. They wave goodbye to the girl, and sail away. In despair the girl runs out into the animation studio, and tears her body into pieces. ... Written by Maths Jesperson {}

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Animation | Short | Drama






Release Date:

22 November 2002 (Norway)  »

Also Known As:

Aaria  »

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Version of Madame Butterfly (1995) See more »

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masterful short
31 July 2002 | by See all my reviews

This short with its roots in the M Butterfly saga has more ideas and images crammed into its 11 minutes than many full-length features. I found this to be a fascinating film. How inanimate and even somewhat crude dolls were made to show the emotions that the main characters here did should be a lesson to all filmmakers.

This is a masterful short. And I hope to see others by this filmmaker.

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