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P.O.V. Ella Es El Matador (She Is The Matador)

Airs Sunday, September 6 at 11 p.m. on KPBS TV

Above: So sacred was the bullfighter’s masculinity to Spanish identity that a 1908 law barred women from the sport. This program reveals the surprising history of the women who made such a law necessary and offers fascinating profiles of two female matadors currently in the arena: acclaimed Mari Paz Vega (pictured) and neophyte Eva Florencia.

For Spaniards -- and for the world -- nothing has expressed their country's traditionally rigid gender roles more powerfully than the image of the male matador. So sacred was the bullfighter's masculinity to Spanish identity that a 1908 law barred women from the sport. This film reveals the surprising history of the women who made such a law necessary and profiles two female matadors currently in the arena: the acclaimed Mari Paz Vega and neophyte Eva Florencia. These women are gender pioneers by necessity. But what emerges as their truest motivation is their sheer passion - - for bullfighting and the pursuit of a dream. Watch the full program online.

Explore the fashion of bullfighting in this gallery of matador costumes.

Comments

Avatar for user 'b4goodnow'

b4goodnow | September 6, 2009 at 9:02 p.m. ― 5 years, 3 months ago

Shame on PBS featuring bullfighting, and taunting it as a "tradition". Well so is dog fighting, and genitile mutulation and wife beating, all of which have been and are traditions in other cultures, but illegal here. Never feature an illegal act as some romantic endeavor. Shame!

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