Black Butterflies

Watch Black Butterflies

  • NR
  • 2011
  • 1 hr 50 min
  • 6.1  (2,239)
  • 66

Black Butterflies is a biographical drama movie from 2011 that follows the life of South African poet Ingrid Jonker. The movie centres on Ingrid's struggles as an artist in the apartheid era and the impact of her turbulent personal life on her work. The ensemble cast includes Carice van Houten as Ingrid Jonker, Liam Cunningham as Jack Cope, and Rutger Hauer as Abraham Jonker.

Ingrid Jonker is introduced as a young woman who is struggling to find her place in the world. She is a talented poet who is passionate about expressing herself through her writing, but she struggles to navigate the oppressive society in which she lives. Her father, Abraham Jonker, is a high-ranking government official who is fiercely loyal to the apartheid regime. Ingrid's political views are in direct opposition to her father's, and their strained relationship is a central conflict in the movie.

Ingrid's personal life is also fraught with tension. Her relationship with fellow poet Jack Cope is passionate but tumultuous, and her struggles with depression and substance abuse exacerbate their problems. Ingrid's artistic pursuits also bring her into contact with other notable figures in the South African literary scene, including poets André Brink and Uys Krige.

As Ingrid's professional and personal life intersect, she confronts the challenges of speaking her truth in a world that seeks to silence her. Through her poetry, Ingrid expresses her outrage at the human rights abuses and racial injustices of the apartheid government. Her work becomes a powerful voice for change, and she is hailed as a visionary by some of the most prominent artists of her time.

Despite the recognition she receives for her work, Ingrid's battles with mental illness and personal turmoil ultimately lead to a tragic end. The final moments of the movie depict Ingrid as a martyr for artistic expression, with her poetry inspiring a new generation of South African artists to speak truth to power.

Black Butterflies is a beautifully shot, emotionally resonant movie that explores themes of trauma, addiction, and artistic expression. The performances from the cast, particularly Carice van Houten in the lead role, are compelling and nuanced. The period setting is evocative, with the cinematography capturing both the stark beauty of the South African landscape and the bleakness of its political reality.

The movie is also notable for its depiction of Ingrid Jonker's life, as she is a figure who was largely unknown outside of South Africa prior to the film's release. Jonker's poetry is the subject of renewed interest in South Africa following the movie's release, with her work being taught in classrooms and included in anthologies alongside some of the country's most revered artists.

Overall, Black Butterflies is a powerful and poignant movie that offers a window into the life of a remarkable artist whose work continues to inspire new generations. It is a must-watch for anyone interested in exploring themes of social justice, creative expression, and the power of the human spirit to endure in the face of adversity.

Black Butterflies is a 2011 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 50 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.1 and a MetaScore of 66.

Black Butterflies
Where to Watch Black Butterflies
Black Butterflies is available to watch free on Plex, The Roku Channel Free, Pluto TV, Tubi TV and Kanopy. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Amazon Prime and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Black Butterflies for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 50 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.1  (2,239)
  • Metascore