Roosters

"Roosters" is the story of Gallo Morales, a Hispanic man with a golden tongue and an obsession. The story begins as he is released after having served seven years in prison for killing a man in a disagreement over breeding fighting cocks. The violence, criminality, cultural identity and competitive sexuality of the cock fighting game serves as a smorgasbord of symbolism in the film. Gallo's wife, Juana , his daughter, Angela, and his sister, Chata, eagerly await his arrival. His homecoming is not so eagerly anticipated by his son, Hector, who has had to work in the fields to provide money for the support of the family. While Gallo was in prison, the grandfather died leaving the best fighting cock to Hector. It is Hector's plan to win money with this rooster so he can leave his rural Southwest area where he is bored and there is no prospect for decent employment.. Gallo arrives to the excited anticipation of Juana, Chata and Angela, who is now 15 years old and does not remember much about her father. Angela is shy. She has withdrawn into a fantasy life of talking to angels and spirits. She is a fragile personality and, in the beginning of the film, is seen with a baby chick in her hand. She makes her feelings known to Hector about the rooster. "The ugly rooster kills all the little chicks." Later, we see her jumping off a small structure, trying to learn to fly with only her prayers as proof that she can. Gallo is warmly greeted by Juana and Chata and soon Hector and a friend arrive. A homecoming dinner is served in the yard, but Angela, who has dressed up for the occasion, is too shy to come out of her chosen hideaway under the porch. Friction is immediately apparent between Hector and Gallo, since the rooster belongs to Hector who is not about to give up his ownership. From this point on, the talk is all about cock fighting. Juana is elated that Gallo is home for good, but we soon learn that her happy bubble is about to burst. From the dialogue Gallo has with Hector and his friends, Adan and Chata, we find that he cares only about cock fighting. That means traveling "on the circuit" as a cowboy would do in order to make money at cock fighting. During a fight between Gallo and Hector over the ownership of the rooster, Angela kidnaps the bird and takes him, in his cage, to her hideout. Periodically in the film, we see a convertible drive by the Morales house with three Filipinos in it. These are the relatives of the man Gallo killed. They eventually contact Hector and an agreement is reached to forego any plan of retaliation upon his father in exchange for Zapata, the prize rooster. When Hector returns from the Filipino's place to collect the bird, he finds that Gallo has tricked Angela into giving the rooster back to him. Gallo fights Hector viciously with a knife and it is only the yelling of the mother that stops the fighting. Then they all focus on Angela in a high tree. She has the rooster. She throws it from the tree, then spreads her arms and gently jumps to her death.

  • Starring: Edward James Olmos, Sonia Braga, Maria Conchita Alonso, Sarah Lessez and Danny Nucci
  • Director(s): Robert M. Young
  • Producer(s): Cabin Fever Entertainment
  • Screenwriter(s): Milcha Sanchez-Scott
  • Release Date: Thursday, July 20, 1995
  • Rating: Acceptable

Featured Animal Action

Roosters appear throughout the film. All the scenes are very quick cuts and you never see any contact between the roosters. They was never near any fighting gear such as spurs, etc. In fact, some flashback scenes are done rather abstractly. Chickens were kept in a very large cage with no sharp edges. Adequate water, food and shade was provided at all times. The trainer showed actors how to hold roosters and how to put them on the ground. A taxidermy rooster was also used at the end of the film when a dead rooster is seen.