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Butterflies (Schmetterlinge)

The film is based on the short story Butterflies by Ian McEwan. A little girl has drowned in a nearby canal. A 19-year-old man, who lives in the same inner-city neighborhood, is the sole witness. Although he has made a statement to the police of everything he saw, the father of the little girl wants to talk to him today. The young man still has a few hours before the meeting, and lots of time to kill on this dreary Saturday. The events of the past days spring forth in his memory.


Wolfgang Becker was born in 1954 in Hemer/Westphalia and studied German, History and American Studies at the Free University in Berlin. He followed this with a job at a sound studio in 1980 and then began studies at the German Film & Television Academy (dffb). He started working as a freelance cameraman in 1983 and graduated from the dffb in 1986 with Butterflies (Schmetterlinge), which won the Student Academy Award in 1988, the Golden Leopard at Locarno and the Saarland Prime-Minister's Award at the 1988 Ophuels Festival Saarbruecken. He directed the Tatort-episode, Blutwurstwalzer, before making his second feature Children's Games (Kinderspiele, 1992), the documentary Celibidache (1992), and the Berlinale competition features Life is All You Get (Das Leben ist eine Baustelle, 1997), and Good Bye, Lenin! (2003).
Category Short
Year of Production 1986
Director Wolfgang Becker
Screenplay Wolfgang Becker
Cinematography Martin Kukula
Production Company Deutsche Film- und Fernsehakademie Berlin (DFFB)