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"El Filigranas" (Rogelio Madrid), and "Aceituno" (Francisco Rabal), go
out to fight a bull in a small village of "La Mancha". The hours before
bullfight passes slowly for two bullfighters who think their fear and
the illusions of victory. Also in "Fina" (Silvia Solar), the prettiest
girl of the people, deceived by "Juanito," the doctor's son who is the
official promised the Mayor's daughter.
Remarkable production of 1958, which despite being a film that is the subject of bullfighting in the early 50's, it does so without any kind of Manichaeism and from absolute neutrality. Or glorify bullfights, or despise them, just shows what you get. Another striking aspect is how the film is about the bullfighters are reflected in it, making them human, people with fear of what lies ahead. As for the other sections and other technicians, note that it is well shot, the script is good with some splendid performances.
Veteran director Antonio Román surprisingly shows that "Los clarines del miedo" is an atypical work within the sub genre as the bull run itself does not occur until well into the footage and is filmed in a somewhat listless, so not like no other and despite playing with all topics, never falls squarely on them. This history offers an unexpected dramatic depth inviting reflection on the know how to face the issues of the life, dignity toward others and toward oneself and the sense of duty. The film concludes with a magnificent epilogue.
It's a film for lovers of the genre bullfighting, and all moviegoers
This is not the typical enchanted look to bullfights, which is one of the
most distinctive identification signs for the Spanish culture. This film
provides a more darker and insightful look to the fiesta and demolishes
almost all the stereotypes surrounding it.
Here the main characters (the two "toreros") are presented with their illusions and respect towards bullfights, but also with fear, making them humans and not simply bravura heroes.
In the same way, the people who attend the spectacle (represented by that pintoresque villagers in an incredibly naturalistic way) are not presented just as simple spectators, but as a fierce audience willing to enjoy the fiesta even if there's blood in the "ruedo".
So, bullfighting is not only shown as a form of macho bravery, art or vane entertainment, but also in a more realistic way. This surprises us today bearing in mind the time when the film was shown, in which all Spanish signs of identity had to be glorified in order to please the Dictatorship.
"Los clarines del miedo" should be rediscovered and praised as one of the most significant Spanish films concerning its traditions.
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