Miguel chooses to go to Barcelona to start his career as an innocent worker in a secure job, but doesn’t land a secure jo band, by accident and by taking advantage of an opportunity, achieves fame and fortune by the age of 24 in the dangerous bullrings of Spain.
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A curiosity in Francesco Rosi's filmography. The rise and fall of a poor and ambitious peasant who became toreador and rich but still unhappy. The main role is played by the real-life well known toreador Miguelin. Strongly recommended.
Erstwhile Marxist Rosi has not utilized a sufficiently Brechtian approach to this material (indeed we are talking about some pretty exacting faux vérité) to excuse the fact that the citizens of Spain are herein speaking Italian. No matter. A lot here to cherish. A phenomenal collaboration w/ cinematographer De Santis. Though Rosi needed rubber stamping from the Franco regime, it's still unquestionably subversive.
The realism of this film is well realized due to the choice of lead actor, the gruesome bull fighting footage, and the camera's distance from its subject(s), both narratively through Miguelin and conceptually through the focus on the world of bull fighting, which leads to the relationship between the camera and the spectators, cold and detached from the gore itself, watching only for entertainment.