The Moment of Truth
Time Out saysThe glare of the sun, the surge of flamenco, the roar of the crowd: Rosi's film about bullfighting is all this and more. On to a Blood and Sand-style story of an Andalusian boy abandoning his arid, poverty-stricken home for the supposed glamour of the urban corridas, is grafted an ambivalent, subtle analysis of the thorny byways bordering on the road to fame and fortune; exchanging hardship for the manipulative deals of entrepreneurial Dons and the contempt of bourgeois socialites, the hero's resolve to make good finally results in a blurred nightmare of disillusionment and death. Without glorifying the 'sport', the magnificent 'Scope compositions nevertheless display the matador's mesmeric grace and daring, while admitting the frenzied brutality that delights the bloodthirsty, callous crowds. It's a colourful, cruel world of senseless exploitation (of animals and humans alike) and tyrannical traditions, rendered with vivid brilliance by this uncommonly unsentimental director.