Review of Tanya Wright’s Film “Butterfly Rising”

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By Bob Mathis‐Friedman

Recently, at the Women’s Film Festival in San Francisco, I had the pleasure of experiencing Butterfly Rising, a feature film written, directed and starring Tanya Wright (Trubies know her as no‐nonsense police officer Kenya).

The film (which. According to Ms. Wright, was written as a way to deal with the death of her brother), is about two very different women who uproot their lives and make a pilgrimage across the rural south to seek out a wiseman named Lazarus of the Butterflies, and what they discover about themselves and each other along the way.

Butterfly is an impressive first outing, with beautiful, dreamlike lighting and cinematography, and on‐pitch, understated performances by the entire cast, particularly Ms. Wright and her co‐star, McGhee Monteith (who, incidently, also provided much of the music for the soundtrack).

The story is tightly written and is centered on frustrated singer Lilah (Monteith) and “fallen woman” Rose (Wright), as they seek out an entity of local folklore who is said to be able to heal souls. Whether or not he is ever found (or even exists…both concerns you’ll have to see the film to find out) takes a back seat to the journey, itself, a quest that is, at once, lyrical and sharply intense.

Ms. Wright has also written a novel by the same name, that accompanies the film and extends the adventures of the characters beyond where the movie ends. This reviewer will cover the book in the very near future.

Ms. Wright was also recently interviewed by Cornelius Washington for the Bay Area Reporter ( More on the film at

A final note: Mr. Ball, if you happen to read this site, you wouldn’t go wrong having Ms. Wright try her hand at directing an episode of T.B.

Over-night fan (almost literally) of the Sookie Stackhouse series since early 2008. Co-owner of Anxiously anticipating season 6.

1 Comment

  1. GeeGee

    May 16, 2012 at 7:30 am

    I love independent films and plan to check out the website to see if the movie is or will be available in my area. I will read the book as well. Good luck to Ms. Wright with her movie and future endeavors!