Little Matador is a controversial fascinating and controversial documentary about bullfighters in Mexico. But these are no ordinary bullfighters, these are mere children, as young as eight, that are trained to kill bulls a hundred times their weight. The film follows children who must fight their own demons as well as the bulls.
“Picasso was born to paint, Mozart to make music – and Michelito to be a matador,” says Dad about his adored son, Michelito, who has killed over two hundred bulls. Joel is nine and neglected by his mum and step-father but he finds love in the ring where matador, Ismael, becomes his surrogate father and guardian angel. Andrea is twelve and started bullfighting after her father abandoned her and her mother and moved to America. Andrea disowned her dad and vows she will save her mum from poverty by becoming a superstar bullfighter.
Little Matador is an extraordinary testament to the young bullfighters and beautifully describes the extreme rites of passage the children make and it is this search for success, mitigated by the children’s conflicts and fears, that provides the beating heart of the film. Little Matador is an intense portrayal of children’s courage that is at once harrowing, beautiful and utterly compelling.