Irish Film Institute -Circus Fantasticus

Circus Fantasticus

Director: Janez Burger

An Irish cinematic first, Circus Fantasticus is an Irish-Slovenian co-production, and one entirely devoid of dialogue at that. Make no mistake however, Janez Burger’s film is no throwback to the silent era à la The Artist. This is a portrait of an unnamed Balkan land plagued by war, including a family living in a desolate rural war zone, their mother murdered –mere collateral damage in the ongoing turmoil. One night, they’re paid a visit by a mysterious convoy: anticipating conflict, they instead find a travelling circus troupe, which proceeds to set up camp. Circus as metaphor for the absurdity of war is a hoary old chestnut, but this surreal romp – an ode to the transcendence of entertainment – pulls off the seemingly impossible, making it fresh all over again.

Notes by Derek O’Connor

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