Butterfly (2000) - Rotten Tomatoes

Butterfly (2000)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

After the Pacific Lumber Company, a logging concern in the Pacific Northwest, was purchased by Charles Hurwitz, a savings and loan trader who acquired the firm in a hostile takeover, the company began clear-cutting large territories, leading to public outcry from a number of environmental activists as well as local residents troubled by violations of lumber harvesting laws and the effects of soil erosion brought on by clear-cutting. A number of activists staged protests in forests threatened by Pacific Lumber's practices, but one gained an especially large amount of attention: Julia Butterfly Hill, who climbed to the top of a redwood tree in Humbolt County, CA, and refused to come down. Hill stayed in the tree (which she nicknamed "Luna") for two years, and while members of the radical environmental group Earth First! helped Hill with her protest by bringing her meals and arranging for her to have a cellular phone, she soon established herself as a separate entity who spoke for herself and the environment -- and no one else. Documentary filmmaker Doug Wolens spent a good portion of Hill's two-year vigil documenting her protest, and Butterfly examines Hill and her controversial protest, as well as the varied reactions of Pacific Lumber Company spokespeople, fellow activists, loggers, local residents, and California police and elected officials. Doug Wolens' original cut of Butterfly ran 79 minutes, though he also prepared an abridged hour-long version for possible television broadcast.


Critic Reviews for Butterfly

All Critics (15) | Top Critics (5)

While instructive on environmental concerns about the impact of logging, Butterfly does not reward those who seek dispassionate psychological insight into the zealous Ms. Hill.

July 19, 2001 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

It's a well-developed theme, and the excellent, bittersweet finale helps, but I can't shake the feeling that the film winds up being not nearly as deep as it wanted to be.

March 14, 2005 | Rating: B | Full Review…

A bitterweet Spanish coming- of- age drama that shows how fear can sweep away childhood curiosity about life's mysteries.

April 8, 2003 | Full Review…

Keeping suspense through a story that we know the ending of is no small feat.

April 8, 2003 | Full Review…

"1" for each of Pia's perky young breasts

July 26, 2002 | Rating: 2/5

Although Hill's love of Gaia is inspiring and although Wolens doesn't take sides, it's one of her ground crew who best nails it, explaining, 'We just need to stop the greed.'

April 25, 2002

Audience Reviews for Butterfly

[font=Century Gothic][color=green] "Butterfly" is a documentary about Julia 'Butterfly' Hill who spent two brave years sitting high up in a tree to protest the clear cutting of California forests. Both sides of the argument are given - ranging from the environmental activists - who work in a collectivist organization and espouse non-violent civil disobedience - to the lumber company and the workers who are affected by the activists' actions. I especially liked the local police officer who was interviewed and explained where the law stood. The activists occasionally seem dopey but it is especially pleasant to hear messages of peace and love in this day and age. And yes, this should have been better but it is still an effective document of modern day activism. [/color][/font] [font=Century Gothic][color=#008000] But I was still disappointed that nobody mentioned Henry David Thoreau.[/color][/font]

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

Butterfly Quotes

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