Michel Comte’s dazzling feature debut renders this modern love story as an epic, overt spectacle of romance and loss, and a marvel of formal construction. Based upon Giacomo Puccini’s opera Madame Butterfly, the film introduces Cho-Cho, a child survivor of the cataclysmic bombing of Nagasaki at the end of World War II. The daughter of a geisha, Cho-Cho sets her sights on becoming the wife of a brilliant, young American military pilot based in Japan—and she succeeds. Trained as an astronaut, her new husband departs for a mission. Even though he promises to return, Cho-Cho feels she has been left to manufacture hope in the face of despair.