Disillusioned with farm life in 1960s Spain, a country boy (Mateo Miguelin) comes to the big city to make his fortune. Not content to live in a rooming house and work menial jobs, he sets his sights on the glamour (and risk) of the bullring and starts training with a local retired matador. His natural talent and good looks endear him to scheming agents and managers who want to represent him. Thus Miguelin rises like a meteor to the top of his profession. Yet even with newly won fame and fortune, life on the corrida circuit proves less than fulfilling, and the gifted young bullfighter starts to question his choices.
Director Rosi's fascinating, affecting tragedy stands both as a masterpiece of neo-realism and an eye-catching visual feast. With long photo lenses capturing all the pomp and peril of real bullfights (and with real-life matador Miguelin in the ring), we are implicit in the action on screen, immersed in the all beauty and savagery of this age-old pastime. Beyond his evident skill in the ring, Mateo ably portrays the gruff, rural kid who thinks money can ease his existential malaise. Of particular note is Miguelin's dream-like visit to the countryside where farmers tilling their fields in repetitive circles recall the incessant grind of his own profession. Though often hard to watch, you can't turn away from this "Moment."