Apr 12, 2011

Circus Columbia, 2011

Circus Columbia, 2011
Director: Danis Tanović
Cast: Mira Furlan, Miki Manojlović, Boris Ler

Stage: Local cinema, almost empty hall

Circus Columbia in short: A story set in the former Yugoslavia and centered on a guy who returns to Herzegovina from Germany with plenty of cash and hopes for a good new life

Preps: I really want to see this piece badly. I am familiar with the topic up to some extent, but it doesn't matter, because it's Tanovic's work I want to see over and over again. And the cast is brilliant.

Reality: An ambush for the feelings, is this piece. Drags your emotions out in the open, and if you are at least a bit familiar with the circumstances (or have been involved into something like this), you will be crying afterwards. The relationship described between a couple, that haven't seen each other for 20 years and the storyline that follows, is amazing and yet, very realistic. How much hate and anger can you possess after 20 years - an enormous amount and in this perspective you are dragged inbetween a family affair. The viewer decides which side to choose, but it's a lose-lose choice anyhow. In those cases who are you to judge what happened - because just at the end you can see at least some grounds for the bitterness that both are carrying with them.

The fighting between the husband and wife is so realistic and so harsh you keep staring with your mouth opened. Bringing the new spouse into the town you were born in and keeping everyone's eyes and souls to the actions you are taking (bragging around with the young beauty, kicking old wife and your only boy out of the house, taking over the place your wife is working at, and giving it to your new spouse - well, this just adds up to the irony, black picturesque humour and reality of the complete story. Maintaining a relationship with your children after the separation should be obligatory, in this case you see the consequences of this broken relationship and failure to see a father figure in the life of the young son. Living only with the mother gives certain edge to the acceptance of life and obligations you have, and also, her influence. The father returns just in the most delicate age of his son. Getting to flirt with the new spouse his father has, is more than just a challenge to him. It may represent a sort of an rebellion act and maybe also a try to humiliate the old man.

Also, the new spouse isn't imune to the charms of the young son. Trying to be friends with him, she ends up in flirt and afterwards, a relationship. The reaction that the old man undertakes, when he finds out, is simply balkan. You cannot understand it in my opinion, if you haven't seen it. It is a perception of a person that the nations here in this area have. Owning a wife, not being with her. Treat her like a queen - take her to restaurants, show her a good time, but no harm done if you don't give her the keys. Or if you hit her from time to time. So, a different perception, very known to women in ex-yugoslavian countries, but in average, all the people here accept this as a way of culture. In this movie, this perspective is realisticly shown and it will drive you crazy, if you are more liberal.

The war that is arising, contributes to the dramatic effect of this piece. Getting prepared to leave, leaving all behind, taking the new love or not. What is Germany, a land of opportunity or a land of failure? And why did in fact the father returned - because of the guilt or because he needs his roots to face his soul? The fact that he has the money, also buys him respect. The long history of his family of course, also contributes to the respect people are showing, but in my opinion, it's the money that in this case drives the poor people mad and willing to participate in this small game he's playing - with his own kin.

The search of the cat is definitely a sparkle in this piece. I absolutely adore the scenes, connected with that. And the marketing idea, of giving a prize and make all the village search for the animal - absolutely fabulous.

My personal rating: 9,5 (brilliant and realistic in many perspectives. And drove me to tears because I felt strong personal touch with the content. One of the best movies lately).

Circus on IMDB
More about the director - Danis Tanović here

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