Critic Reviews



Based on 10 critic reviews provided by
Slant Magazine
Its lightheartedness and overtly traditional narrative structure become a smart strategy for crafting what is ultimately a very nuanced political critique of capital.
A family getting evicted from its home is no laughing matter, except if you're watching Cirkus Columbia, a satiric comedy from, of all places, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The Hollywood Reporter
Tanovic wisely returns to his Bosnia and Herzegovina roots, where the small but highly nuanced story, set in prewar 1991, rings with authenticity and weight.
Despite its wobbly tone and stumbles into implausible melodrama, the film succeeds as a study of realignments among friends and family, a gently cracked mirror held up to the insanity that would soon devastate the region.
Like its characters, who can't believe their stable nation could be threatened by ethnic unrest, Cirkus Columbia looks to the past, evoking the kind of unreal, vaguely politicized tales that were once the lifeblood of arthouse cinema.
The tongue is in cheek and the tone is ironic and bleak, at least until the should-we-stay-or-should-we-go climax punctures the mood. Still, welcome back, Danis.
Though burdened by major problems of tone, Tanovic's fourth feature succeeds in making clear the incredulity with which most people regarded the thought of war and dissolution of Yugoslavia, as well as the machinations of various opportunistic groups.
Village Voice
"No Man's Land" director Danis Tanovic, adapting a novel by Ivica Djikic, also returns to his roots with this decidedly old-fashioned, quasi-satirical drama that is a bit on the nose with its indictments of post-communist animosities and opportunism.
Half of the time, the movie - based on a novel by Ivica Dikic, who collaborated with Mr. Tanovic on the screenplay - has the tone and pace of a farce. The other half, it plays like an unconvincing melodrama. The film assumes knowledge about the history and politics of the former Yugoslavia and the wars involved in its breakup that most Americans don't possess.
Director Danis Tanovic never undersells the anger and tension in the family, yet while the emotional underpinnings feel raw, much of "Cirkus" also winds up spinning 'round to obvious, if uncomfortable, places.

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