Aaron Schock
CIRCO (Circus)

AARON SCHOCK was awarded a grant in support of CIRCO, a visually immersive feature-length documentary examining the life, tradition and hardships of Mexico's rural traveling circuses. The film follows the Ponce family, a ten-member circus troupe, as it struggles to survive in contemporary Mexico. Living and performing on the road since the 19th century, the Ponce family is just one of thousands of traveling Mexican circuses in existence today, continuing its rich artistic tradition against the backdrop of a collapsing rural economy and declining audiences. For the Ponces, these challenges are felt intimately and have led to a crisis within the family. While one of the oldest circus families in Mexico, the Ponces are now too poor to hire outside help, which forces all the child performers in the family to strike, move, and pitch the circus themselves. The Ringmaster was born into the circus and is devoted to preserving the family tradition. His wife, who ran away with the circus at 15, becomes increasingly bitter as she watches her children give up their childhood for a life that renders few rewards. She wants out. Her decision to leave, as seen at the end of the film, resonates with consequences not only for her children and family, but also for the fate of this century-old family tradition.

About this grant

Film and Video
Grant Program
New York City Film and Video
New York City

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