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Barbaric, elegant, primitive, erotic, revolting, thrilling... more drama than most blockbusters! The film is a Hemingway fantasy! --Jeannette Catsoulis, The New York Times
Stephen Higgins and Nina Gilden Seavey's absorbing documentary The Matador doesn't avoid airing the protests against bullfighting that have increased in recent years. But the filmmakers never take sides, concentrating instead on their captivating subject, David Fandila, a bullfighter from Granada, who, five years ago, at the age of 21, set out to become only the 13th matador in history to complete 100 corridas in a single season.
Even if one is not a bullfighting aficionado, it is easy to get caught up in his quest. Fandila is as graceful and stylish as a dancer and rarely falters; he does seem to fulfill one observer's remark that the bullfighter is "a hero who confronts death for all of us."
When he arrives at a ring, David blots out protesters chanting, "Torture is not art nor culture." The bull's fate might be cruel, but surely Fandila is an artist and bullfighting has been deeply embedded in Spanish and Mediterranean cultures for centuries.
The filmmakers don't probe why this came to be and what it signifies, and their film would have been stronger had they done so. Still, they do capture the paradox of beauty and cruelty that charges their entire film. "The Matador" is rightly exciting -- and unsettling. --Kevin Thomas, The Los Angeles Times
Once he steps into the ring, this Spanish Clark Kent transforms into El Fandi, a preening, balls-out bullfighter! --Elena Oumano, The Village Voice
Gives a real insider view to bullfighting and being a matador. Very interesting.Published 4 months ago by runs with scissors
John Califa's score brings this noble tale to life in amazing ways; powerful, heartfelt and inspiring.Published 4 months ago by KWL
Great look behind the scenes of the life of a famous Spanish matador.Published 13 months ago by rebecca
The video is ok.But it shows why he is not great.He is too athletic which takes away the danger moment. Read morePublished 21 months ago by analyst1946
An excellent documentary that highlights the ups and downs of a matador's career. The controversy that surrounds this "ritual" of Spain and other Latin America countries... Read morePublished 22 months ago by Diane Williamson
Well done documentary on a respected bullfighter. I found it interesting throughout. Would recommend it to anyone interested in this subject.Published 22 months ago by Keith L.
If you want to have a movie about the life of a bullfighter this is the movie for you! Great camera work and a lot of interviews about the bullfighting with full descriptions of... Read morePublished 22 months ago by danizzz