INDEPENDENT LENS: Circo
Airs Tuesday, May 29, 2012 at 11 p.m. on KPBS TV
Thursday, May 24, 2012
Aaron Schock’s evocative "Circo" (Circus) intimately portrays the Ponce family’s Gran Circo Mexico as it struggles to make a living off its artistry, sweat, and wit in a changing world. "Circo" premieres on the Emmy® Award-winning PBS series Independent Lens, hosted by Mary-Louise Parker.
Set within a century-old, family-run rural traveling circus, Circo delivers an indelible portrait of a Mexican family struggling to stay together despite mounting debt, dwindling audiences, and a simmering family conflict that threatens this once-vibrant family tradition.
Tino, the ringmaster, is driven by his dream to lead his parents’ circus to success and he corrals the energy of his whole family, including his four young children, towards this singular goal. But his wife Ivonne is determined to make a change.
Feeling exploited by her in-laws, she longs to give her children the opportunities available through schooling and return to them a childhood lost to the endless labor required to keep the circus afloat.
Filmed along the dusty back roads of rural Mexico, this cinematic road movie starkly contrasts the magical and luminous world of the circus while examining the universal themes of family bonds, filial responsibility, and the weight of cultural inheritance.
Through an intricately woven story of a marriage in trouble and of a century-old family tradition that hangs in the balance, "Circo" asks: to whom and to what should we ultimately owe our allegiance?