Butterfly's Tongue (1998)

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Director: José Luis Cuerda
Cast: Fernando Fernán Gómez, Manuel Lozano, Uxía Blanco, Gonzalo Uriarte


Galicia, Spain, on the eve of the Civil War: a young boy's lively curiosity is nurtured by his village schoolmaster, who teaches him about the natural world and warns him about Man's inhumanity. He witnesses his share of sin and unhappiness but finally loses his innocence when the fascists come to deport Republican sympathisers.

The Review

Childhood anecdotes of the kind we have seen many times before (Jeux Interdits, La Gloire de Mon Père, The Spirit of the Beehive). This is more sobering than most, with its central relationship shattered unexpectedly at the end, but puts rather too much emphasis on the paradise of the countryside before the war (which it was not).