The Road to Victory “She is the Matador”
Untitled Document
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The Road to Victory “She is the Matador”
January 14, 2009
Three Films Shown in the III Dominican Global Film Festival Nominated for Golden Globes
December 17, 2009

Santo Domingo, January 14, 2010

Ella es MatadorIt was with us at the recent Dominican Republic Global Film Festival and it did not go  unnoticed. This film has made its way around not only the most important international film venues, but it is enjoying the backing and media attention from inside Spain, its country of origin.

After having won a prize for the best documentary directed women, the Cervantes Institute selected She Is the Matador as the film that will travel around the world in 2010 as part of the Women’s Film Program. The film’s directors , Gemma Cubero and Celeste Carrasco, have already won international recognition: the Tribeca All Access Creative Promise Award for documentaries. This is their debut film.

Bullfighting is the symbol of masculine excellence and courage in Spanish culture. The masculinity of the bullfighter is so sacred in Spain that in 1908 a law was passed that excluded women from the sport. She Is the Matador  tells the surprising story of the two fascinating women who made this law necessary: two female bullfighters who are currently in the ring. Veteran bullfighter Maripaz Vega began to fight when she was nine. She grew up in a family of men whose passion for bullfighting was unsurpassed. She became the first woman in Spain to earn the title of “matador” when she was 22 years old. More than 10 years later, after achieving great success in Latin America, she is still fighting for a spot in the Spanish qualifying system.

For that reason it is normal for a country like Spain to have dedicated so much attention to important bullfighting TV programs such as Tendido Cero. In all the interviews given by the two film directors, whether on radio of TV, they both appear surprised and appreciative.

The documentary is the result of nearly ten years of work in which the directors gathered nearly 200 hours of footage to capture a portrait of Mari Paz Vega, the only active female matador who is currently in a high level position in the world of bullfighting. There is also Eva Florencia, an Italian who, at the age of 16, left her home in Italy to come to Spain to be a bullfighter. 
The film first premiered at the Guadalajara Film Festival in Mexico this past March and since then has been shown in various US cities where it has been widely admired by a broad section of viewers.

In September, it was also the most widely viewed film on PBS, according to the directors.

The directors stressed that "the interesting thing about the film is that it is being seen by a lot of people who are not in favor of bullfighting. We are not pro-bullfighting ourselves. Our idea was not to make a film about bulls nor to glorify the matador.”  

III Dominican Republic Global Film Festival - 2009