The Butterfly Circus
The message of “The Butterfly Circus” is simple (and perhaps simplistic), but timeless.
This dramatic short centers around a man with no arms and legs, who, during the Great Depression, can find work only as a carnival sideshow attraction. He’s mocked, pointed at, and sometimes worse, by those who pay to see him.
One day, the famed Butterfly circus comes through town and discovers the man. They see promise in him, but he struggles with his “handicap” to find a place in the circus. He is useless, or so he thinks, and wonders how anyone else can think any differently.
The film’s message is rather universal, one about believing in yourself. I wonder what someone how someone who lacks limbs would feel about the film’s message, which is essentially “quit feeling sorry for yourself and get to living.” Sage advice, to be sure, but how condescending is it? I don’t know. I didn’t have a personal problem with it, but neither do I suffer from the affliction this young man did.
Look out for an appearance by Indianapolis native Doug Jones (the “Hellboy” films, “Pan’s Labyrinth”), who appears in the film.