Saturday, September 22, 2012

A ROTTEN TOMATO: Black Butterflies

In an effort to take a nostalgic cinematic trip back to Cape Town (I lived there for 2 years), I decided to watch this film "Black Butterflies". The film tells the story of Ingrid Jonker, a struggling poet living within the constraints of South Africa's apartheid regime. Unfortunately, this film was a very disappointing dreck of a biopic. As I watched, I kept wondering why anyone would want to make a film about this woman. Based on the film's depiction of her, she was a weak, callous individual. Within the context of the anti-apartheid movement, she never seemed to have made much of a contribution. This is perhaps the fault of the filmmaker, who focuses far too much on her sexual escapades. Despite her numerous proclamations of "I love you" to her companion Jack, the romance is never believable. To that end, when her own father calls her a slut at one point in the film, you can't help but agree with him. Another setback to this film is the dialogue. It is shockingly basic, especially considering the literary prowess and intellect of the various characters. I expected much more from this film.

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