Documentary. Short Film. 2018. 18 mins
CICLO is an intimate journey through the complete life cycle and complex metamorphosis of the Monarch butterfly from egg and caterpillar through to chrysalis and butterfly.
CICLO. The Spanish word for cycle. An extraordinary film journey into the fascinating life cycle, complexity and transformation of the South American Monarch butterfly.
The film opens flying into Buenos Aires from the north. The remarkable Monarch butterfly migration is one of the most incredible migrations on Earth spanning thousands of miles over many generations from Mexico to Argentina, and then back again.
Focusing on the metamorphosis process, CICLO was filmed in heart of Buenos Aires, Argentina, over a 5 year period by the late artist, Esteban Kaufer (1977-2013). Using found cameras, handmade rigs and a macro lens, Esteban documented the entire process of the butterfly in and around his home and green roof.
The story is told without narration, through incredibly intimate visuals, music and sound design. It follows one of the wonders of nature through the transformation from egg and caterpillar through to chrysalis and butterfly. It is a real world experience of the awe, beauty and fragility of nature, in order to build a connection and the need for protection.
For thousands of years, butterflies have been an important symbol in the mythology of many different civilisations and cultures. The process of metamorphosis is very symbolic and poetic and often related to the human soul. The caterpillar, born form the earth and becoming a creaturethat can completely transform and eventually fly. It has been used as an image in humanity forever - as an image of resurrection, reincarnation and change. It represents the struggle and fragility of life and in the fluttering feelings of love.
Esteban Kaufer was an artist born in Buenos Aires, Argentina and from an early age, was a keen conservationist and archivist. He was fascinated with complexity of nature and with butterflies that grew in the garden of his childhood home. Living on a farm in France in his mid-twenties, he learnt to grow food and respect the land. Using these skills years later, he converted the roof of his apartment block, only 4 blocks from the centre of Buenos Aires, into a thriving community garden and home for the Monarch butterflies.
On 20 January 2013, Esteban died suddenly from an unknown heart condition. He was 35 years old.
Esteban was an extraordinary man. Quiet and contemplative, he had a passion for documentaries and the world around him. He spent a large proportion of his life learning, growing and living with nature and creating a community.
CICLO is his legacy.
Director: Esteban Kaufer
Producer / Editor: Elliott Magen
Cinematographers: David Pena + Esteban Kaufer
Drone operator: Javi Devitt + Mauro Petrelli
Post Production: Fernando Pitta, Barraca Post
Post Production Coordinator: Leandro Bruschtein, Barraca Post
Colourist: Roberto Zambrino, Gorky Films
Composers: Pablo Crespo + Santiago Cantaluppi
Special thanks to
Familia de Bolivar
Fernando Pitta, Barraca Post
Tessa Crozier, Jodie Passmore
David Pena, Sara Guillen Sanchez
Agustin Barna, Soledad Gesteira
Elise Fantazia, Robyn Dwyer
Santiago Romero, Carolina Cambara
Nacho, Demian Prado
Juan Pablo Peña Mejia, Claudia Pellegrini
Los Ninos de Bolivar - Tiziano, Lila y Camilo