Circo

Trailer (2:13)
Clip 1 (2:50)
Clip 2 (2:14)
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Clip 3 (5:07)

About the Film

: Tino Ponce wearing T-shirt and cap, smiling outside a blue tent A woman performing a contortionist move, balancing on her forearms with her legs up and curved towards her head

The Ponce family circus has been living and performing in rural Mexico for seven generations. Its history dates back to the late 19th century, when Genaro Ponce founded the Circo Ponce Hermanos. Today, the circus members are still carrying on their ancestors’ traditions. But their performing days may be numbered.

Tino, the ringmaster, has long been driven by his dream to lead his parents’ circus to success. He urges everyone in the family, including his four young children, to help meet this goal. But Tino’s wife Ivonne is determined to make a change. Feeling exploited by her in-laws, she regrets that her children have spent their childhoods laboring in the circus. Can Tino choose between his circus dreams and a wife who wants a better life for their children?

Filmed along the back roads of Mexico, Circo is an intimate portrait of a family trying to stay together despite mounting debt, dwindling audiences, and simmering conflict. With a marriage in trouble and a century-old tradition hanging in the balance, the Ponce family circus struggles to make a living off its artistry, sweat, and wit.

The Filmmaker

Filmmaker Aaron Schock

Aaron Schock holds a MA in government from Columbia University and worked for several years in non-profit community development in New York City before moving into filmmaking. His first film, Song of Roosevelt Ave. (2005), an award-winning documentary short about undocumented immigrants in Queens, has played in over a dozen film festivals around the world. Circo, his first feature, screened in more than 40 film festivals around the world, and was released theatrically in the US, Canada, and the UK in 2011.