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‘Upon Her Lips: Butterflies’ review

‘Upon Her Lips’, the lesbian shorts series from NQV Media, is back for another instalment with ‘Upon Her Lips: Butterflies’. Continuing to share an insight into the lives of lesbians all over the globe, this collection features five shorts that take in Italy, the UK, Israel and Palestine, and France. Showcasing film-makers that may otherwise not get their chance to shine, ‘Upon Her Lips: Butterflies’ takes the opportunity to amplify stories that aren’t often shared.

The collection opens with Samira Saraya’s ‘Polygraph’, which explores the relationship between openly lesbian Arab nurse Yasmine (Samira Saraya) and Israeli intelligence officer Or (Hadas Yaron). It’s further complicated when Yasmine discovers that Or is reporting on their relationship, and the arrival of Yasmine’s sister causes cracks to widen in the relationship. The 20-minute short delicately walks the fine line that exists between the Palestine and Israel conflict as the two women try to navigate a relationship that would be condemned on both sides. It’s a story that isn’t told often and it’s an admirable effort from Saraya.

Upon Her Lips: Butterflies - Feedback
Credit: NQV Media

The highlight on the collection comes on Margot Gallimard’s excellent ‘Feedback’ where a couple’s relationship faces an unexpected challenge when one of them suddenly loses her hearing. It’s a powerful short that packs a lot into its 30 minutes, and it’s fascinating to watch how the central couple – Maude (Salomé Richard) and Clothilde (Alexandra Cismondi) – have to learn to communicate in a brand-new way as their relationship hits a crisis point.

Elsewhere on the collection Julia Ritschel depicts a love affair between a student and her married French teacher in ‘The Cricket and the Ant’ while Asli Umut’s ‘We Were Waves Once’ finds two seemingly very different women, and neighbours, forming an unexpected bond as they get to know each other over the course of an evening.

Upon Her Lips: Butterflies - The Girl and the Gondola
Credit: NQV Media

Abbé Robinson’s ‘The Girl and the Gondola’ brings the collection to a close and transports us to Italy. Focusing on Carla (Marta Veselli), the daughter of a gondolier who wants to follow in her father’s footsteps, the short explores stereotypes and expectations in a profession that is dominated by men and offers little opportunities for women. Robinson explores the issues in an engaging way and the short is one of the sweetest here.

‘Upon Her Lips: Butterflies’ is a solid collection of shorts from around the world. With the exception of ‘Feedback’ it doesn’t pack any big wows but the films here are entertaining and engaging. If you’ve enjoyed the ‘Upon Her Lips’ series so far, you’ll no doubt find plenty to dive into here.

Cast: Samira Saraya, Hadas Yaron, Salomé Richard, Alexandra Cismondi, Marta Veselli Directors: Samira Saraya, Margot Gallimard, Julia Ritschel, Asli Umut, Abbé Robinson Certificate: 18 Duration: 92 mins Released by: NQV Media Release date: 22nd April 2022 Buy ‘Upon Her Lips: Butterflies’ now

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Pip Ellwood-Hughes
Pip Ellwood-Hughes
Pip is the Editor of Entertainment Focus and the Managing Director of agency Piñata Media.

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