Butterfly

From Hong Kong comes this gauzy lesbian romance (2004) about a teacher, wife, and mother (Josie Ho) whose comfortable middle-class existence is threatened by her attraction to a pretty musician (Tian Yuan). Director Yan Yan Mak slows the languid pace even more with endless flashbacks to the teacher's teenage years, when she had an affair with a student activist (Joman Chiang). Scenes involving Tiananmen Square suggest a parallel between humans rights and the protagonist's sexual identity, but that angle is barely explored; like every other element of the film, politics and psychology are merely cosmetic. In English and subtitled Cantonese and Mandarin. 124 min.

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