Cinema: Butterfly

Directed by Jose Luis Cuerda

His first day at school, the asthmatic boy (Manuel Lozano) wets his pants in anxiety. But his teacher (Fernando Fernan Gomez), a genius in caring for young minds, sees promise in the child. Thus begins a lovely friendship, tested to the breaking point in a Spanish village at the beginning of the Civil War. This art-house weepie, based on stories by Manuel Rivas, is impeccably Miramaxian in its Bambi-eyed child, its liberal attitude and its emotion-cuing score. O.K., but we fell for it--for the deft mood setting and the canny vignettes of young love and adult rancor. Fernan Gomez, nearly 60...

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