La Cosa Nuestra

María Cañas

La Cosa Nuestra is a trip into the darkest and most surrealist side of the bullfighting universe. Fun and tremendismo* operating within an iconographic cannibalism.

This is a very interesting collection of visual material that creates a visual space for a reflection on the idea of the bull as a cultural axis. Working with a series of chapters charged with a sardonic sense of humour, Cañas reels off the relationships that are generated in different cultural manifestations between the bull, other bovidae and humans.

Surrealism, sci-fi y olé! is the leitmotif of these videos in which very different sources converge, such as the party humour of The Pogues, Goya’s and Gutierrez Solana’s tremendismo, Bataille’s poetic fatalism, the bullfighting passion of Orson Welles, the erotic perversity of fanatic pop fans cheering to bullfighters gored by the bulls, and other unusual uses of the bull in different cultures, like drunk and massaged caribous in Korea or hawaiian rhythms for bull trials...

With all these elements, Cañas inquires again after the different relationships that are established between animals and humans, showing its complex, strange, and sometimes, bestial nature. La Cosa Nuestra enters deep into the aesthetic, ritualistic and cultural universe of bullfighting, to then reconstruct it critically, albeit with a healthy dose of irony.

La Cosa Nuestra goes beyond that which is evident, beyond the images that society generates, to saturate them with symbols, with visions, with tributes... to offer new reading registers and small gifts to the viewer.

There is no doubt that this is one of the best of Cañas’ pieces. Her important position within the genre of scratch-documentary, which she masters so well, is hereby confirmed.

This work comprises 5 chapters. Its narrative structure allows for viewing the pieces both separate and together:
1.    Los Dioses del Luto (The Gods of Mourning). 3’18”. A sad bullfighting story to waikiki rhythms, in the kingdom of death where the past still reigns over the present.
2.    Moribundia: Sangre Sabia (Moribund: Wise Blood). 1’50”. Blood is life: hypnotic and disconcerting discourse on Wise Blood.
3.    The Toro’s Revenge. 1’49”. Human death as a fiesta, let the horn enter and the music sound... Who said that the toro’s revenge could not be funny?
4.    Pan y Circo (Bread and circus). 2’02”. The stands are covered by the B series...
5.    There’s a New Bull in Town... El Toro de la Aurora (Aurora’s toro). 4’52”. Circus carrousel with bulls and cows as its main characters. Come in and see the freakiest bovidae in the world!

* tremendismo makes reference to an aesthetic movement of 20th Century writers and painters in Spain who exaggerated the crudeness of life. In bullfighting, tremendismo refers to a style of bullfighting that pays more attention to the spectacular than to the classic rules of tauromachy.


Technical datasheet

  • Title: La Cosa Nuestra
  • Direction: María Cañas
  • Production: María Cañas. Ayuda del Premio RTVA-zemos98-Caja San Fernando a la Creación Audiovisual Andaluza.. 2006.
  • Team:

    Llicència: creative commons CC BY 2.5 ES

  • Duration: 00:15:44
  • Languages: Spanish
  • Subtitles: English
  • Original format: Mini DV
  • Formats: Betacam Digital - DVD
  • TV systems: NTSC - PAL
  • License: Creative Commons