The Moment of Truth

It's a familiar tale: poor rural boy heads to the city and is seduced by big money and big glory. Italian filmmaker Francesco Rosi sets this tragic tale in the Spanish bullfighting ring-a world he depicts with brutal poetic realism. Farmer's son Miguel leaves Andalucia for Barcelona in search of work. As he soon discovers, however, Barcelona is not a city of possibility but one drained by an oversaturated labor market. Hungry and ambitious, Miguel turns to bullfighting, a sport in which he excels. The film shows his meteoric rise through a series of intensely realistic bullfights-all captured in a documentary style that shows the ritualistic details while not shying away from the ugly, messy gore. Miguel's task, of course, is to destroy each bull-but his technique is almost tender, a series of gestures that woo and hypnotize the animals. “The moment of truth” is that instant when the matador skillfully slays the mighty bull with one final stab. For Miguel, however, we know that this truth will ultimately prove dangerous.

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