Director Pablo García's Spanish-language picture Butterfly (AKA Bolborosa, mariposa, papallona, 2006) teeters gently between fictional narrative and documentary. At the film's core lies the axiom that the butterfly's beauty is best observed from afar - if one tries to capture it with the hands, they say, its appearance will fate, its luster forever spoiled. This observation constitutes a metaphor for filmmaking; García, it seems (who appears onscreen) recently attempted to shoot a feature, but - per the butterfly experience - failed to capture the intrinsic "magical aura" and nuances of his setting, deeming such a task almost impossible. Increasingly desperate, the filmmaker recruits a group of indigenous children who are more familiar with the surroundings, and thus able to help García preserve the unique aesthetic on film. Through these events, Butterfly meditates on how a film camera can be used to preserve the visual essence of a unique time and place, and how a knowledge of a particular environment can facilitate this undertaking.
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