Swallowtail & Butterfly (1996)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Swallowtail & Butterfly Photos

Movie Info

Following up on the fantastic success of Love Letter, pop phenom Shunji Iwai directs this phantasmagoric sprawling sci-fi drama set in a polyglotic encampment known as Aozora (blue skies) on the fringe of a megalopolis called Yen Town. Its ragtag -- and remarkably fashionable -- inhabitants are into every kind of nefarious activity imaginable. The film centers on Glico (played by pop star Chara), a Chinese hooker who tattooed a swallowtail butterfly to her chest so that she might be identified after death. Other inhabitants include a doe-eyed orphaned teen (Ayumi Ito) whom Glico takes under her wing and dubs Ageha ("caterpillar"), and Feihong (Hiroshi Mikami), a master grifter who is in love with Glico. One day, a couple of other Aozora-dwellers -- a slick Chinese hustler named Ran (Atsuro Watabe) and jumpy Iranian con-artist Nihat (Abraham Levin) -- discover a cassette tape in the stomach of a dead gangster. The tape not only contains the tune "My Way" but also a computer code to counterfeit 10,000-yen notes. Soon every shantytown resident is cheating change machines everywhere and making a killing in the process. With his newfound wealth, Feihong opens a nightclub with Glico as the lead act. Soon the actual owners of the tape -- a ruthless band of Chinese gangsters -- cotton on to the Aozorian's scheme and demand their money back. ~ Jonathan Crow, Rovi
Art House & International , Drama , Mystery & Suspense , Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By:
In Theaters:


Hiroshi Mikami
as Fei-hong
as Glico
Ayumi Ito
as Ageha
Yosuke Eguchi
as Ryou Ryanki
Andy Hui
as Mau-fu
Tomoko Yamaguchi
as Shen-mei
Kaori Momoi
as Suzukino
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Swallowtail & Butterfly

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Audience Reviews for Swallowtail & Butterfly

Touching and gritty film about Japan. Without knowing a lot about Japan culture I still enjoyed it, but I'm sure the more you know about Japan the more you would appreciate this film.

Christopher  Brown
Christopher Brown

Super Reviewer

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