The movie The Blue Butterfly is a classic quest tale, like to the King Arthur’s knights and the Holy Grail. It is a beautiful, powerful story with a lot of depth. It touches many subjects which are vital to manifesting our dreams, especially demonstrating how the courage and perseverance to live our dreams pays off.
The film opens with Pete, who, in the terminal stages of brain cancer and confined to a wheelchair, is being taken by his mother to hear a lecture. Pete’s father was killed in a car crash some years before, and so Pete lives alone with his mother. His dream is to catch the most beautiful butterfly on earth, the mythic and elusive Blue Morpho. The lecture is being given by Alan (Pete’s idol in entomology) at the city museum. A few weeks prior, he had been bombarding Alan with phone messages, begging him to take him on an expedition to Central America before the Morpho season ends – and while he is still just well enough to travel.
Alan refuses; he is clearly not a person who finds it easy to do things for other people. But, as Pete’s desperation grows, Alan reluctantly gives in (albeit without much grace) during a final three-way confrontation between himself, Pete, and Pete’s mom. His acceptance to fulfill Pete’s ultimate wish takes them both on a life and death adventure that will transform their lives.
Alan brings Pete and his mom into the rain forest, where they meet and set up a base with the Bribri Indians, whose myths and legends claim they are descendants of the Blue Butterfly. The elusive Blue Morpho evades capture day after day. On the last auspicious day they are running through the jungle with Pete on Alan’s shoulders chasing the Blue Morpho. Or, could it be that the rarest and most beautiful butterfly on earth is toying with its would-be captors?
Perhaps more to the point, however, is the fact that the events being recreated in the movie actually happened; without the film crew, but with the Blue Morpho. The man was a world-renowned entomologist and he was carrying a boy with terminal brain cancer on a mission to fulfill the latter’s most cherished dream. Upon his return, the boy’s cancer miraculously went into remission, and today at the age of 22 he is healthy and cancer-free.
The Blue Butterfly is based on the true-life experiences of Georges Brossard, who left a thriving legal practice to pursue his dream of studying natural sciences and the environment. In 2000-2001, he starred in a 26-week series called Insectia, reaching some 350 million television viewers in 160 countries every week. He also hosted the Bug Man series on the Discovery Channel. He quickly became entomology’s most popular promoter.
Meeting Brossard was a terrifying experience for William Hurt (the actor who plays Brossard). “This guy is outrageously alive! His enthusiasm is overwhelming. He did something very brave. I was inspired by his spirit,” Hurt continues, “director Lea Pool really resisted sentimentalizing everything, and that is one of the film’s greatest strengths.” Francine Allaire, the film’s producer, comments, “we wanted to make a film that could touch everyone’s heart. I imagined people of all ages and origins believing that life is worth living and that miracles do exist, that love can transform people.”
The rain-forest scenes also make The Blue Butterfly distinctly unusual – and not just for a Canadian film, either. Using the natural flora and fauna of the equatorial rain-forest, plus a series of stunning waterfalls – and in story terms, a few Indiana Jones-style cliff-hangers – the movie is quite unlike anything Lea Pool(director) has done before. Moreover, she points out, “no camera has ever filmed before in a Costa Rican rain-forest.” Its mythic proportions have clearly marked her, both as a film-maker and as a human being.
This story gives us insight into what is needed to live our dreams. Setting our sights on something is a powerful motivation. For Pete, catching the butterfly was a symbol of life… to live. Everyone (except his mother) gave up on him; this was his hope for living. His mom learned how to let go. Alan, who was a little rough around the edges but really a teddy-bear,learned to open his heart to love. I hope this story gives you a newfound zest for life, and maybe even spawns a dream of your own.
Buy the movie at amazon: The Blue Butterfly
It will look like this: The Blue Butterfly – Nothing to Lose And a New Life Gained