Nagasaki, 1904 : Admiral Pinkerton seduces the geisha Butterfly. He marries her but stops loving her and deserts her. She still loves Pinkerton and kills herself... "I'am Madame Butterfly ! How many people who have seen Puccini's opera over the last hundred years have thought just that ? The emotion aroused by the misfortunes of the young Ciociosan reminds us of the regrets of our first love and its betrayal."
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"Filming "Madame Butterfly" is an act of faith. One must believe in the story with a childlike sincerity in order to emphasize its truth and ignore the criticism and derision of those forceful individuals who denounce its romantic pathos and fin-de-siècle melodrama. One must ignore the controversy concerning "filmed opera", and protect oneself from the quicksand of musical erudition with its clans of inflexible experts. One must revere music and opera as religious values within oneself, and one must not hesitate to place the emphasis on cinematic expression ; the actors must touch, love and behave as if the music didn't exist and both the shots and the camera movements have the task of providing images for the opera score."