A woman who studies butterflies and moths tests the limits of her relationship with her lesbian lover.


Peter Strickland
7 wins & 28 nominations. See more awards »





Complete credited cast:
Chiara D'Anna ... Evelyn
Kata Bartsch Kata Bartsch ... Dr. Lurida
Sidse Babett Knudsen ... Cynthia
Monica Swinn ... Lorna
Zita Kraszkó Zita Kraszkó ... Dr. Schuller
Gretchen Meddaugh Gretchen Meddaugh ... Dr. in Audience
Eszter Tompa ... Dr. Viridana
Fatma Mohamed ... The Carpenter
Eugenia Caruso ... Dr. Fraxini / The Scream (voice)


A woman who studies butterflies and moths tests the limits of her relationship with her lesbian lover.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


During the seminars for the butterflies you can clearly see female mannequins sitting with the audience. See more »


Cynthia: Oh, if we could all just say Pinastri to end our torments.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The credits for the insect sounds include a full scientific description of the location and weather conditions under which each was taken. For instance, the Gryllotalpa vineae sounds were "recorded by W.J. Reynolds on 26th November 1991 at 11:45 hours a Nagra 4D tape recorder and Sennheiser MKH 405 microphone in dim light at 21 degrees centigrade". See more »


References Mothlight (1963) See more »


Dr. Schuller
Written by Rachel Zeffira & Faris Badwan
Performed by Cat's Eyes
See more »

User Reviews

Fascinating depiction of relationship inter dependencies.
29 April 2015 | by t-dooley-69-386916See all my reviews

Peter Strickland is a film maker who likes to do things differently – his last feature 'Berberian Sound Studio' will mean you will never look at a vegetable the same way again. Here he takes on the theme of a sadomasochistic, lesbian relationship to examine how we all depend on each other and the inter dependencies that can occur to make relationships work. At the heart are two lovers Cynthia and Evelyn who seem to be in a very one sided relationship – one being mistress and one being badly used servant.

They are also both entomologists and give talks on moths and butterflies – the title 'The Duke of Burgundy' is an actual butterfly orange and brown in colour and found in Europe and mostly Southern Britain. The moths also act as a metaphor in the case of being 'drawn to a flame' scenario; but also the many butterflies pinned and mounted that occur throughout the film reflect the love/abuse relationship in that the very beauty that attracts some people cause them to act in cruel way to the object of desire.

This is not 'Fifty Shades of Grey' the sex is all tastefully done off screen. It is also exceptionally beautifully filmed – in Hungary as it turns out. The attention to style and miniscule details is almost obsessive and worth every effort in terms of rewards for the viewer. It is though about relationships and what we will do for each other – even if it goes against our own particular grain. This is a film for those who appreciate art-house but like it to have one foot in realism (at least) and as such is one I both enjoyed and can easily recommend.

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UK | Hungary



Release Date:

23 January 2015 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Duke of Burgundy See more »

Filming Locations:

Hungary See more »


Box Office


$1,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$11,902, 25 January 2015

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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