This film is about the relationship of a mother and her daughter, the split-up of their family, the blessing and curse of belonging together and about coming of age - all this from the ...
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This film is about the relationship of a mother and her daughter, the split-up of their family, the blessing and curse of belonging together and about coming of age - all this from the perspective of the young girl Aglaja. The story is based on real-life events, an Eastern European circus artist family that fled to the West. If they want to stay in the circus business they have to make up an exotic act. The mother spends all their money to buy a very dangerous act: hanging by her hair high up in the dome of the circus while juggling with burning torches. Every night Aglaja is terrified by the fear of losing her mother. But, on some day, she has to follow the family tradition and become the "Woman with the Hair of Steel".Written by
This is a good coming-of-age movie, similar to others about girls' childhoods, rather heavy on the mother/daughter drama, quirky and somewhat melodramatic, though at least in this case the childhood seemed to have been legitimately eventful, since it took place in the circus. The film adds touches of magical realism, but this seems make it less realistic rather than more magical. The actors are fine, the girl is cute, and certainly the audience can relate to problematic parents, but the main character remains rather a mystery, even though she provides narration throughout the film. It doesn't help that from one scene to the next the story jumps from her childhood to young adulthood, though during that time not much seems to happen, she is the same quiet observer of her own life. That said, she does make some interesting observations, and the highlight of the movie for me was (predictably) her burlesque dance with a strategically hairy rival. The movie has a decent enough ending, though the viewer is left wondering where she goes from there.
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