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Sand and Blood (1988)
"De sable et de sang" (original title)

 -  Drama  -  4 May 1988 (France)
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Bullfighting, music, medicine, change, and homoerotic possibilities mix in this study of friendship. Francisco is a bullfighter on his way up, so focused even sex doesn't hold his interest.... See full summary »



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Cast overview:
Sami Frey ...
Manuel Vasquez
Patrick Catalifo ...
Francisco Jimenez
Clémentine Célarié ...
María Casares ...
Catherine Rouvel ...
Pierre Forget ...
Le Père
Camille Grandville ...
Stéphane Albouy ...
Mario - le jeune frère torero de Francisco


Bullfighting, music, medicine, change, and homoerotic possibilities mix in this study of friendship. Francisco is a bullfighter on his way up, so focused even sex doesn't hold his interest. After a minor road accident, he meets a doctor, Manuel, who attends a bullfight, leaving early, retching. His wife, who is also his partner in a string quartet, worries about him: Manuel has a history of breakdown. Manuel, for his part, hates bullfighting and the memories it brings of Franco's Spain. His harsh views undermine Francisco's focus. He accompanies the young fighter to Spain for an important corrida. Will Francisco succeed? And what becomes of this friendship? Written by <>

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4 May 1988 (France)  »

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Sand and Blood  »

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Fighting Bulls may be easier than fighting one's nature
27 July 2002 | by (NYC/FL) – See all my reviews

Manuel is a Spanish émigré to France. Now a doctor his family left Franco's Spain during the worst of the troubles (and only after his grandfather had been machine-gunned with other dissidents in the local bullring). He is now married with two young children and lives his life,as he confesses 'afraid of life'.

Returning from the beach one Sunday Manuel meets Francisco, a popular, good-looking young matador. Although both men are straight, they are attracted to each other in some obscure way and start spending time in each other's company. While this attraction threatens Manuel's home-life, the threat to Francisco's way of life is even greater.

While gay men who have spent time 'in the closet' will find much to identify with in this film, others may wonder why it was ever made. No mention of homosexuality is ever made but, for those whose 'gaydar' is finely attuned, the eroticism of these men's attraction couldn't be plainer. Although this film reminds me a lot of the work of Eloy de la Iglesia, it's directed by a woman. I was a bit surprised by that and unsure what her motivation in making this film was.

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