Bullfighter El Cordobes
Images and commentary on a bullfight given by Manuel Benitez El Cordobes in a Toulouse arena, followed by a short interview on the evolution of his style, a recent altercation with matador Paco Camino in Aranjuez and on what scares him.
A popular bullfighting figure in the 1960s, Manuel Benítez Pérez, known as "El Cordobés", was born in 1936 to a republican blue-collar family in Spain's Córdoba province.
Discovered as early as his first combats in 1959, Benítez quickly climbs the steps of a bullfighter's career, up to the "alternative" ceremony, which elevates him from the rank of "novice" to that of "bullfighter". His style, which is more visual than technical, helps him conquer a sizeable audience, including bullfighting and magazine enthusiasts. Despite his "fear of the microphone", El Cordobés is a bullfighter who receives lots of media coverage. When faced with bulls, he impresses audiences with his audacity and the sometimes life-threatening risks he takes, like on 20 May 1964, when the powerful charge of Impulsivo, the bull, almost cost him his life. However, he reappeared one year later in front of an audience at the Toulouse arena, at the height of his fame and true to his fiery reputation.
During the following decade, Manuel Benítez progressively distanced himself from the arenas, delivering his final combat in 1981. In 2002, his native region, which inspired his stage name, proclaims him the "Fifth Calife of Córdoba".