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Swallowtail Butterfly

1996 2h 26m Drama List
Reviews 89% Audience Score 1,000+ Ratings In a futuristic metropolis, young Ageha (Ayumi Ito) loses her mother, and Glico (Chara), an infamous prostitute, takes the girl under her wing and helps her survive in the city. Ageha takes a job at a salvage yard with the unscrupulous Feihong (Hiroshi Mikami), whose counterfeiting operation provides him with enough money to open a nightclub. But when a group of gangsters learn about this plan, they violently demand a cut of the action, and threaten the lives of Ageha, Glico and Feihong. Read More Read Less

Critics Reviews

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Panos Kotzathanasis HanCinema Swallowtail Butterfly is a beautiful film that suffers much from its extended duration and the fact that Iwai tried to include many more elements than he actually could. Jul 26, 2020 Full Review Read all reviews

Audience Reviews

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Alexis K Delightful, funny, dark, dirty, quietly political, beautiful film. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 09/05/23 Full Review Audience Member ¥en Ŧown ₿and from Swallowtail Butterfly. What I love about this movie is that there's not really an "antagonist" in the traditional Syd Field Screenplay sense. Each character is respectfully treated with full human depth. The closest thing to the antagonist is... the proverbial "System," whose impersonal (and therefore inhuman) motivations and machinations of a monolithic machine that prioritizes economy over sociology. The protagonists, outcast from and invisible to society, stumble on good fortune, and use that to pursue dreams, unintentionally sending the protagonists on separate journeys. At the end, they realize that good fortune is great, but all they REALLY REALLY wanted was to be together. I love this film. #yentownband #chara #shunjiiwai #AyumiIto #HiroshiMikami @rainbow_staircase_channel Rated 5 out of 5 stars 02/27/23 Full Review Audience Member A masterpiece. At over 2 hours I know the runtime will scare some people away... and don't get me started on those who are afraid of subtitles...ugh...but if you allow yourself to put aside your fears for just a little while you'll come out the other side richly rewarded. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 01/28/23 Full Review troy k 2.5/5 I am not sure what it was all supposed to mean, but it was interesting. Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Audience Member "Once upon a time, when the yen was the most powerful force in the world, the city overflowed with immigrants, like a gold rush boom town. They came in search of yen, snatching up yen. And the immigrants called the city Yentown. But the Japanese hated that name. So they referred to those yen thieves as Yentowns. It's a bit puzzling, but "Yentown" meant both the city and the outcasts. If they worked hard, earned a pocketful of yen, and returned home, they were rich men. It sounds like a fairy tale, but it was a paradise of yen, "Yentown". And this is the story of Yentowns in Yentown." - Suwaroteiru, opening Rated 4 out of 5 stars 02/07/23 Full Review Audience Member Very original. I would almost believe that the yen town existed in Japanese history. The reference to third culture kids makes me smile, and I love how naturally the sound of mixed linguo of the immigrants are created. I can tell how much effort the entire filming crew have put together to make this fictional story a real living world. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 02/10/23 Full Review Read all reviews
Swallowtail Butterfly

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Cast & Crew

Movie Info

Synopsis In a futuristic metropolis, young Ageha (Ayumi Ito) loses her mother, and Glico (Chara), an infamous prostitute, takes the girl under her wing and helps her survive in the city. Ageha takes a job at a salvage yard with the unscrupulous Feihong (Hiroshi Mikami), whose counterfeiting operation provides him with enough money to open a nightclub. But when a group of gangsters learn about this plan, they violently demand a cut of the action, and threaten the lives of Ageha, Glico and Feihong.
Director
Shunji Iwai
Producer
Shinya Kawai
Screenwriter
Shunji Iwai
Production Co
Fuji Television Network Inc.
Genre
Drama
Original Language
Japanese
Runtime
2h 26m
Sound Mix
Surround