As the studious Bidya prepares for her further studies, her juvenile brother Basanta distracts her with his antics. But learning, his sister is giving up on her dreams, he struggles to give Bidya the hope she desperately needs.
“As much as you want to study, I want to see you go off to school too.”
The newest International Feature submission from Nepal is Butterfly on the Windowpane. This is our first time watching a film from this country and it’s such an incredible experience witnessing new stories, new customs, new memories.
The film takes place in a remote village in Nepal up high in the mountains. Bidya and her brother Basanta live with their mother and father in a small home. Around them is nothing but open fields and green pastures. As her father struggles with alcoholism and as her brother repeatedly gets into trouble, Bidya helps her mother with all the chores and cooking but on top of that she’s an excellent student.
Her dream is to continue her education at the Harnamadhi Secondary School. But when she places second in her exams, her dreams of getting a scholarship ends. Only the top student gets their tuition paid, so Bidya most now quickly find $2,500 rupees or else she’ll be unable to go to school next year.
As her family struggles to pay their bills and as her father spends all their money on liquor, Bidya’s future now seems very uncertain.
Director Sujit Bidari has created a beautiful film about a girl wanting more in life. And about a girl who dreams of experiencing new things and to explore the world outside her village. So many girls in her area get eloped and married at such a young age, and Bidya wants to avoid the same patterns as her mother and as her grandmother. But sometimes the world isn’t fair. “What feels overwhelming now will soon be a routine.”
Bidya’s passion is writing poems, and in the final few minutes of the film we finally get a chance to hear one of them: “I hope to fly off to places like a colourful butterfly. All the wonderful sights I would see. Each step into a new world. Each encounter a new experience. Although I haven’t yet spread my wings, I’ll never forgo my dreams of the outward flight.”