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Friday, February 07, 2014

The Moment of Truth (1965) d. Francesco Rosi

Miguel Mateo plays Miguelin in the 1965 film The Moment of Truth, about bullfighting in Spain.

Movie Review
The Moment of Truth (1965)
 d. Francesco Rosi
Criterion Collection #595

  The Moment of Truth is a "Rocky" style narrative about a bullfighter in Spain, but made by an Italian filmmaker and shot in Italian.  It is another excellent example of what makes the Criterion Collection channel on Hulu Plus so freaking great.  I'm not saying I'm an expert on bullfighting, but I do find it interesting, and I have been to the Iberian peninsula three times in the last decade, and been to bullfighting rings in three different cities, seen multiple bullfighting museums, etc.  And of course, I'd never heard of this film until I actually watched it.

  I will say that The Moment of Truth is NOT for the faint of heart OR for people who have a "problem" with bullfighting and animal cruelty- you folks will want to stay far, far away.  The Moment of Truth is far from being perfect- some of the early scenes are so dark you can barely tell what is going on, and the film fairly rushes towards the third act (he dies at the end fyi) without so much of a pause.  It's more like a Hollywood film than an "Art film" but the exotic nature of the narrative subject makes up for the lack of "artiness."

  However, if you are Googling "The best movie about bullfighting" I would suggest that The Moment of Truth is it, if only because I don't know of any other films about bullfighting.  Also worth noting is that the Torredor, Miguelin, is played by real life bullfighter Miguel Mateo, giving The Moment of Truth a kind of documentary style authenticity, particularly during the bull fighting scenes.

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