The psychiatrist in Andrey Paounov’s delightful docu “Georgi and the Butterflies” finds his dreams constantly thwarted by circumstances, but his infectious, glowing enthusiasm transcends the setbacks. Director of an impoverished home for “psychologically challenged” men, Dr. Georgi Lulchev throws himself into schemes for keeping his wards both happily occupied and productive, never flagging when the snail or ostrich farms don’t quite pan out. The first Bulgarian docu with seven international associate producers, pic won the Silver Wolf at Amsterdam’s docu fest and should easily win over other fest auds before becoming a small-screen pleaser.
When therapists were laid off after state funding all but dried up, Lulchev devised grand plans to take advantage of the home’s 100 acres — from silkworm production to soybean farming, all seen as ways of making money and keeping his charges active. Paounov doesn’t explain why each idea fails, instead concentrating on the good doctor’s zeal and his successive dreams. Docu is full of lovely touches; patients (never presented exploitatively) are introduced via their unique eating utensils, and music is marvelously used to suit each section.