The Moment of Truth (1964)- Francesco Rosi
Verdict: Think about it.
The Moment of Truth follows poor Spanish youth, Miguelin, who finds fame and fortune in the ring fighting…….bulls. Director Francesco Rosi set out to fully depict bull fighting with all of its cruelty, danger, and beauty. He definitely accomplishes that task. Nearly everything in the film is authentic. The main character is an actual matador. The bull fights are real. The gore and accidents are too. The camera gets as close to the action as possible. There is only one professional actor in the film, an actress actually, who plays an actress. And the cinematography gorgeous inside and outside of the ring—I am particularly reminded of the scene where Miguelin walks through a field of female laborers harvesting grain. As the women fling grain in the air, it all falls like strands of gold in the background.
But The Moment of Truth is not for everyone. If you have any protective feelings toward animals, and you are going to watch this, prepare yourself. Like I said earlier, this is a bloody movie, and every time you see a bull die its gory death, you actually did see a bull die a gory death. So while the beauty of the sport comes through, so does the butchery. Finally, it seemed to me that the story was the second emphasis of the film. That’s not to say its poorly acted or even without emotional content. The Moment of Truth clearly points out the nightmarish worlds Miguelin, and others in his position, felt forced to choose between. I just mean that, to me, it seemed like Rosi’s main intent was to capture the full scope of bull fighting. While that may make The Moment of Truth the best movie of its kind, it also makes it, at moments, feel more like a documentary than a movie. Think about it.