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Tino Ponce operates Circo Mexico, which journeys across the Mexican countryside in search of paying customers. Wanting to please his father and continue the family business, Ponce has recruited his young children as performers while laboring night and day to maintain the circus's faltering financial fortunes. But a growing resentment brewing within his wife about their hardscrabble existence suggests troubles on the horizon. While documenting the brutal regimen of circus life, Circo also peels back the curtain on the Ponce family's inner dynamics, revealing generational divides and money worries that threaten to tear apart a marriage. Buttressed by indie-rock band Calexico's evocative score, Schock's film observes this family drama with a sympathetic but clear-eyed view of a vanishing way of life. And because Circo refuses to be sentimental in its handling of the material, the story's twists become all the more poignant. Written by
Los Angeles Film Festival
From the opening shots as this small family circus rolls into another town we are struck by how hardworking, courageous and creative they are. As this richly satisfying documentary unfolds we come to care deeply about the Ponce family we get to know through the lens of the single camera and the perspective of director and one man film crew, Aaron Schock.
Schock was there for Q and A at the Palm Springs film festival last week where most of the questions were about what happened next. The answers were as inspiring as the film. If you get a chance to see Circo, don't miss it!
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