Black bull, no kiddinghowever you may settle in, with Toro Negro, for yet another placid, Salvation Army doc well-meaningly directing us toward a middle-class respect for poor third-worlders, you end up on the scary, decaying lip of civilization. The milieu is Yucatán bullfighting, which is to the Madrid variety what the most wretched Central American midget-league baseball is to the arena of Derek Jeter: overgrown weeds, moonshine in mason jars, cardboard houses, wounds without doctors. Quickly, though, the video doc becomes a character study of one Fernando Pacheco, nicknamed El Suicida, and at first blush a skinny, crazy Indian kid with a wired smile and possessed eyes whose professional strategy amounts to letting the bull virtually kill him before he's dragged off, slapped awake and tossed back in with a fresh animal. But Pacheco is also a maniacal alcoholic and unapologetic wife beaterthe face-offs in the bullring are chilling, but the domestic violence, captured on camera, is far worse. As his story emergesrape, assault, manslaughter, prison, and torrential self- destructionit becomes clear that Pacheco is some kind of sociopath, and the movie evolves into a monstrous portrait of economic annihilation on the outskirts of the global village.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Village Voice's biggest stories.
More Film News
- Teen Sex Comedy ‘Staten Island Summer’ Works Best If You’re Hard Up
- If the Devil Were Real, He’d Demand Better Horror Flicks Than ‘The Vatican Tapes’
- Doc 'A Gay Girl in Damascus' Finds Resonant Truth in an Online Fiction
- Slack Mystery ‘Frank the Bastard’ Proves You Can Go Home Again (But It Won’t Be...