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TORO

Philippines, 1999 (MIFF 2000, Regional Focus)

Director: José Javier Reyes

This controversial film concerns a cry for help from people struggling to maintain their existence by surrendering dignity and imagining hope. Roily, the son of a dying prostitute, earns his living performing in a Toro, a live sex show in the sleazy hovels of Manila. Emotionally crippled—Roily claims not to have cried since the age of 11—his life is filled with eccentric characters. One his co-workers, Rosita, had a child at 15 but gave the infant up for adoption. In a desperate search for humanity, she embarks on a quest for her lost child.

Toro not only concerns the plight of marginal people struggling to overcome the curse of poverty in the Third World, but is also a forceful statement about human beings trapped by circumstances and powers beyond their choosing.

"A Director's Cut has been necessitated in order for the film to exist in its original form, and refrain from violating the norms set by an angry sector of moralists and politicians."—Jose Javier Reyes

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