Black Butterflies
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Black Butterflies
Poetry, politics, madness, and desire collide in the true story of the woman hailed as South Africa's Sylvia Plath. In 1960s Cape Town, as Apartheid steals the expressive rights of blacks and whites alike, young Ingrid Jonker (Carice van Houten) finds her freedom scrawling verse while frittering through a series of stormy affairs. Amid escalating quarrels with her lovers and her rigid father, a parliament censorship minister (Rutger Hauer), the poet witnesses an unconscionable event that will alter the course of both her artistic and personal lives. -- (C) Tribeca

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 73%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Van Houten ... gives a strong performance as Jonker, and the cinematography is pleasing, but the script is cliché-ridden and ends on an overly sentimental note."
‑ V.A. Musetto, New York Post
"Black Butterflies is a dark, moving depiction of the life and death of a brave rebellious, idiosyncratic woman who made significant strides toward changing the world around her and paid a heavy toll for her passion."
‑ Rex Reed, New York Observer
"Black Butterflies is the sad human poetry of the lost souls who slip beneath the waves to echo in our collective consciousness."
‑ Leslie Stonebraker, New York Press
"The movie reminds you of the extent to which poetry has been marginalized as a cultural force since the early 1960s."
‑ Stephen Holden, New York Times
"Always feels like a life schematically condensed rather than intimately explored."
‑ Keith Uhlich, Time Out New York
"The screenplay defiantly never softens [Ingrid] Jonker, but challenges the audience to take her or leave her."
‑ Kent Turner,
"Black Butterflies scarcely tries to illuminate the substance of Jonker's writing."
‑ Sam Adams, AV Club
"Art, politics, and craziness conspire to form a rather mechanical melodrama in Black Butterflies..."
‑ Nick Schager, Village Voice
"As far as middlebrow biopics go, it may not break any molds, but it's a reasonably sensitive and occasionally insightful look into the mind and psyche of an impassioned and deeply troubled artist."
‑ Kenji Fujishima, Slant Magazine
More reviews for Black Butterflies on Rotten Tomatoes