Festival Review: Butterfly / Mariposa (2015)


Dividing the world in two on a butterfly’s wing, Marco Berger’s Mariposa is a charming, delicate tale of the unflappable nature of love.

War Of The Worlds

by Mark Wilshin


CAUTION: Here be spoilers

Inspired by the butterfly effect of chaos theory, Marco Berger’s Mariposa is a divided story of two halves – in the first Romina (Ailín Salas) is abandoned by her mother as a baby, in the other she’s kept. It’s a film in the conditional tense like Krzysztof Kieslowski’s Blind Chance, Peter Howitt’s Sliding Doors or Tom Tykwer’s Run Lola Run. But as it negotiates the sexual intrigues of Romina, her could-be brother Germán (Javier De Pietro) and friends Bruno (Julian Infantino) and Mariela (Malena Villa), Mariposa leads us into an understated world of adolescent loves, where looks and gestures are more important than words. The two universes run parallel, where a trip to the lake, a scooter ride or an empty tank of petrol plays out in one world and then the next. But edited by Berger, Mariposa‘s two wings are wrapped together tightly, allowing a constellation of desire to emerge that, like a force of destiny, cannot be denied; Bruno – despite passing romances with Romina and Mariela and a wandering eye for Germán – falls, in the end, for Mariela’s brother (Justo Calabria), while Germán and Romina cannot deny their attraction for each other, a gentle romance in one, but forbidden and incestuous in the other. It’s a strangely moralistic twist then that brother and sister are wiped out in a motorcycle accident – their desire in this fantasy world no more illicit than the next. And despite the sinuous editing that flows from one universe to the next, Mariposa often seems to mark time with doe-eyed glances and frustratingly unspoken desire. Nevertheless, Marco Berger is a master of the subtle complexities of desire, and Mariposa a playful, lyrical example of the insuppressible wingbeats of love.

Mariposa is now showing at the 65th Berlin Film Festival

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