Float like a Butterfly (2018) *** Toronto Film Festival 2018
Dir: Carmel Winters | Drama | Ireland | 104′
Carmel Winters second feature is a poetic and gorgeously redolent coming of age drama set in the Emerald Isle of the 1960s where a young Irish Traveller has to contend with the death of her mother and an abusive father as she follows her dream of becoming a boxer like her idol Muhammad Ali.
Hazel Doupe gives a stunning performance as tomboy Hazel whose daily life in a wooden caravan with her younger brother and wayfarer father Michael (Dara Devaney) is fraught with altercations not only with the local Garda but also members of this feisty family and their old-fashioned attitudes towards gender roles that hamper her own natural pugilist talents.
With its universal themes Float Like A Butterfly has the rare quality of being utterly relevant today and yet quaintly traditional, its placid pacing capturing the slow-burning essence of a bygone era. Auteuse Carmel Winters’ writing and directing has a distinct lightness of touch which brings both gentleness and integrity to her storytelling.
This is a drama that glows with the lush beauty of its verdant Irish setting untrammelled by time and enlivened by stirring folk music, suddenly catching fire in its final denouement. MT
TORONTO FILM FESTIVAL 2018 | Friday September 7th | THE PRIZE OF THE INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF FILM CRITICS (FIPRESCI PRIZE)