Friday, January 19, 2018

Circus Ecuador (Slamdance 2018) - Documentary Review

The Documentary: Circus Ecuador

The Directors: Ashley Bishop, James Brassard

The Story: Circus Ecuador follows the story of two, young filmmakers as they uncover murders, aliens, land rights issues, gold smuggling operations, and human trafficking while filming the construction of a primary school for the children of an indigenous community.

The Review:
This is definitely one of the strangest documentaries I have ever watched as it is basically a successful salvage job of what was otherwise a disastrous undertaking. By framing the story as a "Can you believe this sh*t?!" narrative, the directors avoid having to take the absurd experience seriously which allows a bit more freedom to create something that is actually entertaining. I also have to congratulate Ashley Bishop and James Brassard for actually surviving what turned out to be a very dangerous ordeal.

The whole time I was watching this film, which was originally supposed to be about building a school for a small village in Ecuador yet turned into something involving armies, aliens, and government conspiracies, I kept thinking how uninteresting each moment was yet I just had to keep watching because overall, it was oddly enthralling. While the end result isn't the freakishly bizarre thrill ride it is being marketed as, it is still worth a look because this stuff really did happen, these people really did do these things, and most of the insanity and ineptitude was actually caught on film.

Circus Ecuador is an official selection of the 2018 Slamdance Film Festival presented by DGA. coverage of the 2018 Slamdance Film Festival presented by DGA.

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