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Hot Docs 2015 Review: Nuestro Monte Luna


Banning something to stop people from doing what may be perceived to be cruel in our society does not work, unless you look at this from an artistic point of view. I am not here to judge those who enjoy bullfighting, but rather to watch a film from a story like point of view to better understand. What is presented in Nuestro Monte Luna, directed by Pablo Alvarez-Mesa, is quite entertaining. It portrays an old fashioned town, Choachi, Colombia, where a group of youths dreams of showing their artistry and technique to conquer the spectator`s hearts.

In 2013, the mayor of Bogotá, banned bullfighting considering it to be a barbaric act. We here, must agree with the mayor, correct? But eight matadors decide to go on a hunger strike. Two years later, despite ongoing protests, the courts overturn the ban. This allows these heroes to keep training and helps them to forget about their poverty, social struggles, and helps them to ignore their uncertain future.

Nuetro Monte Luna is made to see bullfighting through the eyes of youth, whose vision is incredible, and admirable. It`s easy to judge them for their desire to be in the arena of bullfighting, but this is the only way they believe they can gain the admiration and pride of their countrymen. Can we blame them for risking the accusations of animal abuse if we can`t offer anything else in return?

Alvarez-Mesa well mastered certain scenes to show the intricate details of Choachi so that the audience is able to experience the feeling and the smells of a beautiful, old-fashioned little town, where people live their lives in a culture which is about to disappear. It`s a beautiful film which exhibits an unacceptable love for bullfighting, where the youth will certainly achieve what they strive for as this is the only way they know to hold on to their old traditions.

Screening Dates:

Wed, April 29 at 9:30 PM – TIFF Bell Lightbox 3
Fri, May 1 at 1:30 PM – TIFF Bell Lightbox 3
Sat, May 2 at 7:15 PM – Scotiabank Theatre 7

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