Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB
Original title: La Lengua de las Mariposas
Spain, 1999. Canal+ Espana, Las Producciones del Escorpión, Sociedad General de Televisión, Television Espanola, Televisión de Galicia. Screenplay by Rafael Azcona, Jose Luis Cuerda, Manuel Rivas. Cinematography by Javier Salmones. Produced by Monica Martinez, Myriam Mateos. Music by Alejandro Amenabar. Production Design by Josep Rosell. Costume Design by Sonia Grand. Film Editing by Ignacio Cayetano Rodriguez, Nacho Ruiz Capillas.
While the Spanish civil war brews in the distance, a young boy growing up in the provinces is inspired by his aging teacher to reach out and grasp an understanding of the world around him. His innocent perceptions of politics, sexuality and nature are widened with each passing opportunity for learning, until the devastating reality of his country’s situation finally strikes the final blow and makes him a full member of his society. This perceptive, understated drama is blessed with gorgeous production details and lovable performances. Manuel Lozano is terrific as the youngster, while Fernando Fernán Gómez gives a heartbreaking turn as the educator who wants to see his students grow up free in their thinking and, for doing so, runs the risk of being denounced as a communist menace.
European Film Award Nomination: Best European Screenwriter