A film by Pedro González-Rubio and Carlos Armella
Mexico, 2005, 87 min. In English with Spanish subtitles.
Subjects: Anthropology, Indigenous Studies, Latin American Studies, Mexico, Cultural Studies, Human Rights, Film Studies.
Toro Negro gives deep insight into the life of Fernando Pacheco, a bullfighter in the Mayan Region in southeast Mexico. Fernando is heart-warming and honest, but also an alcoholic, violent and impulsive. Pedro González-Rubio and Carlos Armella follow, almost from the character’s inside, and sometimes with a disturbing closeness, Fernando Pacheco, a.k.a El Suicida (The Suicide), a young bullfighter who fights not in big arenas but at popular parties of small Mayan communities in the Yucatán Peninsula.
Both his private life and his bullfighting are insane. Toro Negro achieves moments of extreme realism that are both fascinating and extremely tense. The scenes of domestic violence between El Suicida and his wife are suffused with a crude intimacy. Toro Negro is a documentary that shows human passions and conflicts with rawness and humor, as we see that sometimes reality is more suspenseful and captivating than any fiction.
FESTIVALS & AWARDS
Winner, Best Film, Horizontes Section, San Sebastian Film Festival 2005
Best Film, Morelia Film Festival 2005
Audience Award, Nantes “3 Continents” Film Festival 2005
Best Documentary, Havana International Film Festival 2005
Special Mention for Best Documentary, Nantes “3 Continents” Film Festival
"Harsh, intense, yet artfully shaped filmmaking that continually takes you one step further than you thought you'd go." - Stuart Klawans, The Nation.
“Radically human and touching.” — M. Paco Prieto, Reforma Newspaper
“I was profoundly impressed; the impact was 100% emotional.” — Alejandro González Iñéarritu
“A documentary with a proper fiction structure.” — Sebastián Russo, Miradas de Cine
“Amazing closeness and disturbing at times." — Javier Porta Fous, El Amante.com
PEDRO GONZALEZ-RUBIO (Co-Director)
Pedro González-Rubio is a Mexican filmmaker born in Brussels. His initiation to visual arts came at the age of 16 while living in New Delhi. He studied media in Mexico before attending the London Film School. He worked as a cinematographer on the film Nacido sin / Born Without (2007) by Eva Norvind. His directorial debut, Toro Negro (2005, co-director), received several awards. His solo directorial debut Alamar (2009) was awarded more than 15 prizes worldwide including the VPRO Tiger Award at the Rotterdam International Film Festival. Inori, his new feature film, was produced as part of the NARAtive Project 2012 and was awarded the Golden Leopard at the Locarno Film Festival.
CARLOS ARMELLA (Director)
Born in Mexico City in 1978. Studied script writing at the Centro de Capacitación Cinematográfica (CCC), and then studied filmmaking at the London Film School where he made the short film A Dead End Story. He was chosen to participate in the 2003 Venice Film Festival with another short film called POEM. After his return to Mexico, his wounded heart drove him to the Yucatán peninsula were he got involved with Toro Negro.