M. Butterfly

Synopsis: During the Cultural Revolution in China in the mid-1960s, a French diplomat falls in love with a singer in the Beijing Opera. Interwoven with allusions to the Puccini opera "Madama Butterfly", a story of love and betrayal unfolds.
Genre: Drama, Romance
101 min

...come to the Beijing Opera sometime.

And further your education.

You know, the Chinese

are an incredibly arrogant people.

They warned us in Paris about it,


Hmm. There's a switch.

Parisians calling the Chinese arrogant.

There's no use fussing about it.

Whenever I see one of them

blowing his nose onto the pavement...

...I always remember

what my father said.

"East is East and West is West,

and never the twain shall meet."

And then I feel much better.


So tell me...

...did you get a chance to meet

Lars Hammer's new wife?

Oh, no.

You know, she's the one

really running that embassy these days.


I hear she's quite homely.

I left early.

Oh, dear,

are you coming down with this cold too?

No, I'm fine.

It's just...

Well, it...

It's silly, but...

I met the Chinese equivalent of a diva.

She's a singer with the Peking Opera.

Oh, where they sing like cats wailing?

She sang the death scene

from Madame Butterfly.


it's a funny thing about Chinese.

It sounds more like singing

when they're just speaking normally.

Do you know

that the Chinese hate Madame Butterfly?

She hated it,

but she performed it anyway?

They hate it

because the white man gets the girl.

Sour grapes, if you ask me.

Why can't they just see it

as a piece of beautiful music?


Thank you.

Um... Uh...


It's... It's...

Um, opera.

- Oh.

- Um...

Oh, thank you.

Monsieur Gallimard, come in.

You knew I was in the audience.

It was easy to spot you.

So you are an adventurous imperialist.

Well, I thought it was time

to continue our education.


It only took you three weeks.

I've been busy.

Well, education has always been

undervalued in the West, hasn't it?

I wouldn't say that.

No, of course you wouldn't.

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David Henry Hwang

David Henry Hwang (simplified Chinese: 黄哲伦; traditional Chinese: 黃哲倫; pinyin: Huáng Zhélún; born August 11, 1957) is an American playwright, librettist, screenwriter, and theater professor. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "M. Butterfly" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 27 Oct. 2020. <https://www.scripts.com/script/m._butterfly_13073>.

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