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August 23, 2019, 7:00 PM
Reality and fantasy collide in the story of a family-owned circus spanning five generations of decadence, love and loss, based on a poem by Jorge de Lima. NR / 105 min. Presented in Portuguese with Subtitles, this is a beautiful, melancholy, and at time grotesque fantasy that is intended for Mature Audiences only.
THE GREAT MYSTICAL CIRCUS contains material that some viewers may find objectionable, including a scene of sexual violence; discretion is advised, as the film does not shy away from frank depictions throughout of situations both positive and negative.
Not unlike his work in the 60s as part of the Cinema Novo movement, in which the postcard-perfect version of Brazil that was exported to the world was eschewed in favor of showing the systemic problems lurking just below the surface, director Carlos Diegues uses the circus as a metaphor questioning a century of progress. The film's characters seek beauty- perhaps even the divine- in an ugly place.