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

The expense reports from Intelligence.

I don't believe it.

Did they give you any trouble?

No, not at all.


"Documentation attached."

Well, I couldn't be happier.

So how are you settling in?

Well, fine. Fine.

The apartment's a bit earnest

and Sovietic, but it's very comfortable.

Yes, well, we all have

the same furniture, you know. Mm-hm.

It comes from one small factory

in Clermont-Ferrand.

Oh, my God.

Things certainly are different here.

You find it different

from your days with Renault, do you?

Well, yes, I do.

You know,

never mind the license to kill...

...those boys certainly have a license

to spend money.

Well, at least it breaks the routine.

- I started in transportation this morning.

- Good.

I'm up to 57 windshield wiper blades

in the past six months.


What are they driving through,

sulfuric acid?

I expect it's all the locals,

spitting on the windscreens.

My God, is it the Swedish

or the Swiss Embassy holding this soire?

I think it's the Swiss.

No, no, no, you're...

No, you're right,

it's definitely the Swedish.

Well, then, we're over here.

What are they planning

to inflict on us tonight?

Not those Chinese acrobats again,

I hope.

There's a limit

to the times I can watch...

...a man trying to get his leg

around the back of his neck.

Oh, Frau Baden says

there's going to be an opera performance.


Is there some diva

passing through town?

No, it's a local singer.

We're going to hear excerpts

from Madama Butterfly.

I'm embarrassed to admit

I'd never seen Madame Butterfly.


Don't tell anyone though.

I've got one or two people around here

thinking I'm profoundly cultured.

She will fall in love

with an American sailor.

A big mistake.

Why is that?

He will marry her, but he's not serious.

Her American sailor has now left her.

He's not coming back.

Mademoiselle Song is very striking, yes?

But she simply has no voice.

There she is. Excuse me.

Wonderful performance.

Thank you very much.

I really enjoyed it.

She's so wonderful, isn't she?

Oh, she's a nice lady.

Mademoiselle Song.

- It was a beautiful performance.

- Thank you.

I've always seen opera singers

as overweight ladies...

...in too much bad makeup.

Bad makeup is now unique to the West.

I've never seen a performance

as convincing as yours.


Me, as a Japanese woman?

Did you know the Japanese

used thousands of our people...

...for medical experiments

during the war?

But I gather such an irony is lost on you.

No, no, what I...

What I meant was,

you made me see the beauty of the story.

Of her death.


It's pure sacrifice.

I mean, he's not worthy of it,

but what can she do?

She loves him so much.

It's very beautiful.

Well, yes, to a Westerner.

I beg your pardon?

It's one of your favorite fantasies,

isn't it?

The submissive Oriental woman

and the cruel white man.

Oh, I... I don't think so.

Consider it this way.

What would you say

if a blond cheerleader...

...fell in love

with a short Japanese businessman?

He marries her

and then goes home for three years...

...during which time

she prays to his picture...

...and turns down marriage

from a young Kennedy?

Then when she learns her husband

has remarried, she kills herself.

Now, I believe you would consider this girl

to be a deranged idiot, correct?

But because it's an Oriental

who kills herself for a Westerner...

...you find her beautiful.


Well, I see your point.

The point is, it's the music, not the story,


Gallimard. Ren Gallimard.

If you wish to see some great theater...

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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, 2022. Web. 6 Dec. 2022. <https://www.scripts.com/script/m._butterfly_13073>.

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