Photos and Video
In this heartwarming tale of redemption inspired by true events, Pete Carlton (Marc Donato) is a 10-year-old insect enthusiast who's been diagnosed with cancer and given only a few months to live. His last wish is to go into the rainforest with Alan Osbourne (William Hurt), a world-renowned entomologist, to catch the world's most beautiful butterfly, the elusive and awe-inspiring Blue Morpho. With some help from his mother (Pascale Bussieres), Pete convinces the reluctant bug expert to come on board, and together the three head off to fulfill the boy's dream. Along the way, Pete learns many lessons -- for example, that catching the Blue Morpho isn't everything -- and receives one final, miraculous gift from the rainforest, more precious than any butterfly. Shot on location in Costa Rica, The Blue Butterfly treats us to breathtaking shots of the equatorial flora and fauna, and features a characteristically compassionate performance from Hurt.
Director's Statement Collapse
When I decide to make a film, I must be motivated enough to get involved in a project that will probably take two years of my life. I have never been a director who fulfills an order for this or that type of film, and I continue to believe that it would be very difficult for me to do that type of work well. My films have almost always been motivated by a very personal need to express myself and to create, based on the recurring themes of exile, identity, insanity, itinerancy, and exclusion. I think that all creative endeavours are inspired by the creator's own life and his or her own personal search for meaning. The Blue Butterfly therefore would initially appear to be something completely different for me. It is a family film, made for a young audience, whose form and themes are considerably different from my previous films. However, if you look at my life a little more closely, you'll discover that I have an eight-year-old daughter, a survivor from China, Giulia, who has turned my life upside down and broadened my perception of the world. She accompanied me when I directed the documentary about Gabrielle Roy and was on the sets of Emporte-moi and Lost and Delirious. She thought that her mom worked a lot and obviously didn't understand very much of what I was doing. When Francine Allaire approached me, and I read Pete McCormack's script, I understood that I could give an enormous gift, not only to my daughter, but to all of the children in the world. This story moved me not only because it is based on a true story that took place here in Quebec, involving two exceptional people (Georges Brossard and David), but also because it is a wonderful lesson in life and hope in a world that unfortunately isn't going very well. This is a story of survival: a little boy with incurable cancer beats his illness thanks to his determination and to the strength of his dream. There is no rational explanation for what happened, and yet it happened. And maybe this mystery is what is beautiful in our lives. The experience of filming the movie was both difficult and enriching. Just like the film's two protagonists, we had to adapt ourselves to the tropical forest's dangers, mysteries, torrential rain, and suffocating heat. However, we also discovered its immense beauty, its unique flora and fauna, and, above all, we met the indigenous Bribri, with whom we had unforgettable experiences. I learned many things with this film, on both a personal and professional level. It gave me the possibility to work with Media Principia (Daniel Langlois) on all of the computer-generated images. I learned how to direct stunts (no kidding!), and how to work with a blue screen. But in particular I learned, like our hero Pete, to be more confident in life, which wasn't very easy to learn. Seventeen years ago, I had Anne Trister say: "You must have the courage of your dreams." The film The Blue Butterfly is a remarkable demonstration of this, as far as its subject and its production and creation go.
Film Information Collapse
[BLUEB] | 2003 | 97 | Narrative Feature
About the Director(s)Collapse
Léa Pool has directed eight theatrical features and several documentaries, all of which have won prizes from some of the most prestigious film festivals worldwide. Lost and Delirious (2001) was presented at the Berlin International and Sundance film festivals, and her previous film, Emporte-Moi (1999; U.S. title Set Me Free), was awarded the Special Ecumenical Jury Prize at the 1999 Berlin International Film Festival. She also wrote and directed Mouvements du Désir (1994) and La Demoiselle Sauvage (1991). A Corps Perdu (1988) was chosen for official competition at the Chicago International and Venice film festivals, Anne Trister (1986) screened in the official competition at the Berlin International Film Festival, and La Femme de l'Hôtel (1984), won the best Canadian feature film award at the Toronto International Film Festival. Born September 8, 1950, in Geneva, Switzerland, Pool is a Canadian citizen and makes her home in Montréal.