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Black Butterflies (2011)

Not Rated | | Biography, Drama | 31 March 2011 (Netherlands)
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2:06 | Clip
In Apartheid-torn South Africa, poet Ingrid Jonker (Carice van Houten) struggles tragically in search of love and a sense of home.

Director:

Paula van der Oest

Writer:

Greg Latter
13 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Carice van Houten ... Ingrid Jonker
Liam Cunningham ... Jack Cope
Rutger Hauer ... Abraham Jonker
Graham Clarke ... Uys Krige
Nicholas Pauling ... Eugene Maritz
Candice D'Arcy Candice D'Arcy ... Anna Jonker
Ceridwen Morris Ceridwen Morris ... Marjorie
Grant Swanby ... Jan Rabie
Waldemar Schultz Waldemar Schultz ... Etienne le Roux
Tarryn Page Tarryn Page ... Irma
Louis Pretorius Louis Pretorius ... Mike Loots
Damon Berry Damon Berry ... Pieter Venter
Martinus Van Der Berg Martinus Van Der Berg ... Marius Schoon (as Marthinus Van den Berg)
Florence Masebe Florence Masebe ... Maria
Jennifer Steyn Jennifer Steyn ... Lucille Jonker (Lulu)
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Storyline

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 (Liam Cunningham) 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.

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Taglines:

Her words united a whole continent. [Scandinavian DVD.]

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Carice van Houten and Liam Cunningham appeared on Game of Thrones (2011). See more »

Connections

Featured in De wereld draait door: Episode #6.66 (2010) See more »

User Reviews

 
Lackluster drama
7 February 2011 | by CineCritic2517See all my reviews

Butterflies tries to show us the hardship of the poet Ingrid Jonker in the 50's and 60's in South Africa; her social and mental struggles and the clashes with her family. Striving for equality between the races, she finds herself opposed to her father who heads up a government censorship board.

This could have been a good backdrop for some decent drama and the portrayal of a country raped by apartheid. But besides shoving an unlikable protagonist down our throats (Jonker), the film offered very little in the way of plot and dialog. What was presented in stead was a 90 minute volley of uneasy situations with Jonker interacting with characters who turned up whenever the script required it without a plot-inspired narrative flow.

The connections to her surrounding characters are never really explored and the development of situations felt awkwardly and needlessly rushed. The interactions between Jonker and her father for example, which should have been key scenes in the film, lacked any additional purpose besides the very obvious. Screenwriter Greg Latter, who did much better when he wrote the screenplay for the 2007 movie Forgiveness, also set in South Africa, really missed the mark here by only serving up predictable dialog for a historical drama that already lacked a discernible outline.

Neither van Houten nor Hauer were particularly convincing in their roles and the acting by Liam Cunningham made their performances pale in comparison. But it was most of all van Houten who clearly wasn't up to the task. Her crass Dutch accent was particularly annoying, especially considering how easy it should be for a Dutch actress to get the S.A. accent right. Her acting also felt a bit labored at times which was compounded by her role mostly being fed dramatic clichés.

There's a good soundtrack however, accompanying some very beautiful imagery but the movie as a whole is a rather lackluster and exasperating watch.

45/100


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Details

Official Sites:

Official site [Netherlands]

Language:

English

Release Date:

31 March 2011 (Netherlands) See more »

Also Known As:

Borboletas Negras See more »

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,416,573
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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