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Flavia, a married teacher, meets the young singer Yip and they embark on an intimate affair. The surprising and violent romance causes Flavia to recall the unfulfilled love of her youth. Will she decide to live by her own rules this time? Will she find it in herself to buck social norms and expectations? The subtle, deeply emotional and beautifully fleeting Butterfly is a rare example of Hong Kong lesbian cinema.
The gorgeous cinematography brings to mind the movies of Wong Kar Wai; Yan Yan Mak worked with the master on In the Mood for Love. Another decision which might have been inspired by Wong Kar Wai was to fill the soundtrack with music from all around the world. The musical mix includes songs by the band Hopscotch, which had been fronted by Tian Yuan. The role of Yip was the first in her rich and varied career, lasting to this day.
At its premiere, Butterfly was a novelty in Hong Kong cinema – the film was partially financed by local authorities, which had never happened before. This unique film, hitherto completely unknown in Poland, shows the director’s wonderful, yet not fully realized storytelling talent.
Yan Yan Mak
Hong Kong screenwriter and director. Graduated from the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. She began working in the film industry during her studies, assisting directors and designing sets. She established her own production company, Dragonfly J Ltd., and debuted in 2001 with Brother. The movie was successful on the international festival circuit. Her second film, Butterfly, opened the Venice Film Critics’ Week in 2004. In 2012, she completed her last feature, Merry-Go-Round, and moved on to documentary filmmaking.
2001 Brat / GeGe / Brother
2004 Motyl / Hu die / Butterfly
2006 Bak yuet dik gu si / August Story
2010 Dong feng po / Merry-Go-Round