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Circo (2010)

Juventino 'Tino' Ponce Ledezma , Ivonne Galindo Valenzuela , Aaron Schock  |  NR |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Juventino 'Tino' Ponce Ledezma, Ivonne Galindo Valenzuela
  • Directors: Aaron Schock
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Spanish
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: First Run Features
  • DVD Release Date: September 20, 2011
  • Run Time: 75 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00551QQD4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #209,067 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews


[Four Stars] A gem of a documentary... Crisply shot, emotionally frank, and genuinely moving. --Adam Lee Davies, Time Out London

Riveting... filled with beautiful images and haunting moments. --The Village Voice

Product Description

{Winner! Best Documentary; Hamptons Int'l Film Festival, 2010}

Gorgeously filmed along the back roads of rural Mexico and set to the music of Calexico, Circo follows the Ponce family's hardscrabble circus as it struggles to stay together. Tino, the ringmaster, is driven by his dream to lead his parents' circus to success and 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 return to her kids a childhood lost to laboring in the circus. Circo reveals the luminous world of a traveling family circus while the fate of this century-old family tradition hangs in the balance.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hard working Mexican people September 23, 2011
My people, not drug cartels! Because of the cartels and violence everybody think, we are all like that, which isn't true at all! Mexicans are hard working people! There is so many stupid movies out there. This movie is worth watching because is about LIFE with winners not whiners.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Learning About Our World November 11, 2011
Through the hard work of the director and the Ponce family's Circo Mexico how easy it is through this DVD documentary to learn another lesson about how we all share the same dreams and the human willingness to achieve them. Circo Mexico and other circuses of a similar nature offer a real and a positive entertainment for people, easily forgotten, that makes TV and film seem shallow in comparison. Kudos to them in their efforts and to director Schock for his courageous effort to document this piece of history.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Aaron Schock's fascinating documentary "Circo" is an extremely personal look at a dying art form. The film is centered around a Mexican circus family as they struggle to survive, entertain, and stay together in an increasingly complex economic climate. This single tent extravaganza tours the small towns and sets up an endless stream of one night engagements just to make ends meet. It's a hard life for a family as everyone has a role to play down to the youngest child. From an early age, the kids are indoctrinated into the life with no other alternatives. They perform center stage AND work as crew, with nary a break, as they are really the only employees of the enterprise. While aspects of this lifestyle are unpleasant, to be sure, it is a tradition that has been handed down through the years.

To the film's credit, it examines the Ponce family at face value without making judgements. Tino, the ringmaster and father, can be a harsh taskmaster and his wife (a city woman frequently at odds with her in-laws) has reservations about the children's upbringing. The kids never get an official education--can't read or write--and in one scene, we even see that Tino himself has lacked the same opportunities that most people take for granted. He has to be coached by his wife just to scrawl his name correctly. It's unimaginable by contemporary standards, but the Ponces are truly living the life of a by-gone era. And yet the film is not set to oppose them, but to document their choice. The family is quite close, the kids are dedicated and industrious, and there is a commitment and perseverance that it's hard not to appreciate. Interestingly, as members of the family have left for more normalcy--they are still drawn back to traditions of their circus legacy.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Hard Life October 14, 2012
I never thought about how a small circus could survive. I've been aware of big circuses, the ones with train cars, crews, and sponsors. This circus is different - it's a small family circus travelling around Mexico. I admire the family's hard work and dedication. Most of all, I admire the children and their efforts for the circus - whether that be putting up the tent or lights, carrying equipment, helping train animals, learning contortions, juggling, or other circus acts. The circus life is a different world. Unfortunately, I don't think the kids are getting much of a formal education.
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