Dir: Kristoffer Kiørboe
Production company: Final Cut Productions
Every year some 10.000 hopeful boys enrol in Spain’s bull-fighting schools. Each and every one of them pursues the dream of becoming the next great Matador. Less than 1% succeed. 16-year-old ÁNGEL JIMÉNEZ is the youngest son of a family of modest rural workers, he is one of the Matador aspirants and this is his story.
The film ÁNGEL is a 90+ minutes documentary about 16-year-old Ángel Jiménez’s relentless struggle to become a Matador. Following Ángel and his family for a period of 5 years, the film portrays the journey from boyhood to manhood, the love between two brothers, and one family’s efforts to help their youngest son achieve his dream – although the consequences can be unbearable.
Becoming a Matador is no easy feat. A Spanish proverb says: “it’s easier to become the next Pope, than to become a Matador”. Many young, hopeful men have failed to succeed. One of them is Angel’s big brother, Paquito, who also dreamt of becoming a great Matador and even showed great talent and potential. Unfortunately, lack of courage and lack of luck saw Paquito’s dreams shattered. Now, however, Paquito spends all his time helping his brother Ángel to achieve what he himself failed to achieve.
ÁNGEL is a coming-of-age story with elements of the hero’s journey. Ángel embarks on two parallel journeys. One journey is a struggle to lift his family and himself out of poverty and a life of mediocrity. The other journey is a quest of self-discovery – a process of formation in which he will battle his inner demons, lose his innocence, and thereby become a more well-rounded individual.
This is not a film about bull fighting. However, bull fighting is relevant because it sets a quite dramatic frame for Ángel’s and his family’s life. Faced with the threat of failing or even being killed forces them indirectly to deal with fundamental questions in life such as - what is worth living for? And what is worth dying for? This makes ÁNGEL a story about courage to follow your dreams, no matter how irrational and costly these may prove to be, and about the journey upon which all of us embark in our quest to find happiness.