Despite some pacing issues, Son of Monarchs serves as a heartbreakingly layered depiction of an immigrant’s journey to rediscover a fractured identity.
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As it traverses the sacred and the factual, the film intently portrays the liminal space anyone who’s ever left home knows well. It’s the threshold between the person you were, who you’ve become, and how the two halves are at odds mutating into a unique color, a new prism-like worldview.
Gambis, who is both a director and a biologist, has crafted a piece of art that captivates as much as it informs.
Rather like the butterfly wings that are its central metaphor, Son of Monarchs is deceptively fragile-seeming, yet robust, structurally complex and vibrantly hued.
In Son of Monarchs, Gambis has mapped the butterflies’ migratory paths and genetic patterns onto Mendel’s search for belonging. It’s an inspired blend of science and narrative, and an affecting allegory emerges from the unique imagery.
Son of Monarchs, which is driven by mood as much as it is a metaphor that it can’t get enough of, embodies the equal ambition and shortcomings of a writer/director trying feel their way through science, while having as minimal a narrative as possible.
Son of Monarchs is a type of philosophical journey but one of beauty and mystical discovery.
Son of Monarchs is an expertly crafted visual experience that weaves disparate themes and images.