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El Rey De Los Coleaderos (DVD Review)

9 Mar, 2006 By: Angelique Flores

El rey

Prebook 3/17/06; Street 4/25/06
$19.95 DVD
Not rated.
In Spanish with English subtitles.

I am guilty. I admit I've flipped around on the TV and found myself stuck on the OLN channel watching the rodeos. Having watched El Rey De Los Coleaderos (the king of the bull-tailers), I now understand and respect the charro (cowboy).

This gritty documentary tells the story of Juan De La Torre. Born in Jerez, Zacatecas, in Mexico, De La Torre became famous for having spent all his money at charrer?a, the skills and culture of charros. He came from humble beginnings on a ranch and started riding horses at age 5. By 10, he was going to rodeos and practicing charrerr?a.

Among a charro's tricks is the coleadero, for which De La Torre is best known. Here, the charro tries to grab the tail of a bull to knock it down while on his horse running alongside the bull.

Coleadero started many years ago as a way to control bulls. It has since evolved into a sport that is considered an art form and a piece of Mexican tradition. It's a dangerous sport that costs thousands of dollars to practice because of the clothes, horses and accessories.

De La Torre moved to the United States and, through hard work and self-education, runs his own contracting business. Though he battled discrimination and alcoholism, he turned his life around and still reigns as king — El Rey De Los Coleaderos.

This film was the winner of the Audience Award in last year's Orange County Film Festival in California.

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