The Butterfly Circus (2009) Poster

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An inspirational short film
venkatthangi17 November 2009
This is the best inspirational short movie I have ever seen.

The way the director characterized the disabled man was awesome. Nothing is impossible.

Only you have to think right and believe in yourself.

He no longer feels disabled and sets a right example to the needy.

The character of the showman who continues to inspire the people is nice. He finally proves that all that is needed to survive is to have some belief.

In that way, he showed path to many lives that were succumbed to hands of inhumanity.

The movie was shot in nice locations and also had a nice soundtrack which was apt for this kind of movie.
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20 minutes well spent
felix101216 May 2010
I came across this film after having seen one of Nick's talks. Being an inspirational character himself this film manages to put him in a perfect setting of good actors, settings and brilliant dialogues.

The idea of a phoenix rising from the ashes, never to give up hope and to inspire people rather than making them laugh at "a man's imperfections on display" are all great themes, which one is left missing in most modern day Hollywood films.

Overall this film is deeply touching, inspirational and I can, without any hesitation whatsoever, recommend this film to everyone! This film has won the Doorpost contest 2009 and rightly so!

You can see this film for free at
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"Butterfly Circus" should win many more awards
dianejoy-baker328 October 2016
A member of my choir recommended this gorgeous film, and I am so glad! I'm amazed that so much can be done with 22 minutes of film. Its warm, inspiring tone is moving, the essence of the Great Depression and circus aspects are first- rate. Each element is at once true, realistic, and entertaining. The acting is low-key, and the story line goes in unexpected directions. Not a predictable note occurs. Actually, at first, I wasn't sure I'd like it, but it won me over in the end. It has won a Doorpost Award deservedly. I hope we'll hear more from the artists behind "Butterfly Circus," for this is the kind of film that cheers the heart, fills the eye with beauty and makes cinema fans want to make their own films to match the wonder, which we certainly need more of in our lives. This is what good film is meant to do.
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This is a phenomenal movie! Gorgeous, and with a loving spirit.
joannhunt3520 February 2012
This is a phenomenal movie! Gorgeous, and with a loving spirit. The US Depression period is captured with sensitivity. The movie grabs you and takes you along on the Butterfly Circus's travels. It is very professionally done - color is great, scenes very effective. There is an economy of action, yet it feels like a full-length movie. The story is poignant but not maudlin. I loved the opening scene with the old cars traveling across the dusty plain. The actor Vujicic makes the story so hopeful. I hope it will be made into a full-length film and played in theaters everywhere. I wanted to see more of each character,learn their backgrounds and how they found the Butterfly Circus. Also, I'm interested in what motivated the ringmaster.
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Inspirational, extraordinary & entirely overwhelming
changedbyHim24 March 2015
This film was so astounding that I am leaving a review for the first time. I only hope that everyone will have the privilege of hearing what Nick has to say about life after watching the film. It is engaging and then portrays its message beautifully using the butterfly and its transformation. It is so encouraging to see a film that has an inspirational message. God has made him special physically so that he can proclaim the grace of the Gospel to all who will listen. I had no idea he could act, but nothing that Nick strives to accomplish should surprise any of us. I shed tears over his victory to not just exist in this world. May God grant all of us the 'Will' to overcome our own adversities.
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idealism does not make a good film
Valargul20 May 2010
Warning: Spoilers
we get it: with hope and faith in yourself you can achieve more, but this old wisdom for most viewers doesn't need to be spelled out this impudently (although, considering the many praising reviews of this short film on the net, I've marked this as a spoiler). every scene, I daresay every look and act is soaked in that feel-goodness, and turns these twenty minutes into a painfully transparent watch for the persistent viewer. apart from that, the acting and dialog are quite horrible and the script is trite and superficial. where sarcasm or mockery could, shamelessly copying from the Carnivàle series nor idealism can save this film from being bad.
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"What this world needs, is a little wonder."
classicsoncall10 July 2019
Warning: Spoilers
You couldn't come up with a better short film that elevates the human spirit and demonstrates that all things are possible. I was surprised with how many of the circus performers in the story paralleled similar characters in Tod Browning's 1932 film "Freaks". You had a trapeze artist, a strongman, Siamese Twins, a fat lady and a principal character, aside from the Ringmaster, who in the earlier picture was called The Living Torso. But the emphasis here is not on 'freaks', but on the way each of the circus entertainers overcame difficulties in their own life, only to find a way to use their handicaps to bring fulfillment and joy to patrons. The Limbless Man (Nick Vujicic) in particular was forced to find the inner stamina to persevere, encouraged by Ringmaster Mendez (Eduardo Verástegui), and applauded by his fellow performers. Apparently, there was a feature movie planned for development around the concept explored here, but with a decade gone by now since this short was released, it appears that roadblocks may have stood in the way. Which is a shame, as a full length feature would serve well to remind modern day audiences that the value of an individual doesn't reside in how much a person is worth financially, or how important they might be in terms of celebrity. There's almost no excuse in not investing the mere twenty minutes or so this film takes to tell it's story. It will rekindle one's faith in the human spirit.
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Interesting idea lost in execution
Horst_In_Translation24 September 2013
Warning: Spoilers
This film by director Joshua Weigel is about a cabinet of curiosities and runs for little over 20 minutes. Basically, it's a bit of a road movies as we see circus performances, but also how paths of the artists cross with the random population always stuck between fascination and disgust for the creatures that make up the ensemble. The cast members are rather unknown with one exception maybe, Doug Jones known a.o. as Pan from Guillermo del Toro's "Pan's Labyrinth".

It's a nice idea as there's not too many films on the issue, even less short films, but this one did not do much for me. The shocking sequences (a limbless man almost drowning) felt as unconvincing as the emotional (the child's hug towards the end), so I'm a bit baffled by the high rating. There's really nothing in this effort that justifies a running time over way over 15 minutes. Weigel hasn't made a film for almost five years and if he ever wants to step into full feature territory, he will need to step things up. I hope he manages, as, occasionally, glimpses of talent were visible. If you enjoyed the likes of Terry Gilliam's "Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus", give this one a go, otherwise stay away.
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At last, a well-made modern Christian film!
djansen2416 June 2014
This film flies by in 20 min. with not a wasted second. Set in the Great Depression, it focuses on an inspirational traveling circus called the "Butterfly Circus". And most especially on the "limbless man" who stows away with them. This film goes as deep as it can in the short time span, so naturally none of the characters can be fully fleshed out. Yet it packs an emotional punch. And each character is given just enough face time so the audience cares about them. To the extremely jaded, they might be skeptical of such an inspirational film as this, but for the majority, this film will lift your spirit, especially if you are a teenager. Although the filmmakers and its star are all Christian, the spiritual message is more buried here, making it immediately accessible to anyone of any persuasion.

I have seen many modern Christian films, and with the exception of the outstanding Passion of the Christ by Mel Gibson, most were lamentable. Their budget could not support state of the art special effects and many of the actors seemed to be church buddies of the director with minimal experience. But what was the worst was the poor and superficial script writing. So Butterfly Circus comes off as a real delight. Still working with a limited budget, the director and cast clearly knew how to make use of their resources. The acting, while not Oscar worthy, is realistic and convincing. The script, while unable to be exceptionally deep because of the short running time, is provocative enough to touch the heart. You feel like you're "there" in the story. And the lighting and music are first rate, giving a dreamy feel to the entire production.

The ringmaster Mendes says, "What this world needs is a little wonder!" In its own small way, that is the feeling you are left with after viewing this gem.
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