Monday, May 04, 2015

Sean Kelly

Hot Docs 2015: The Circus Dynasty


The relationship between two big top families are explored in The Circus Dynasty.  Patrick Berdino is the heir of Circus Arena, one of the biggest in Europe, and is in a relationship with Merrylu Casselly, whose family is known for their award winning acrobatic routines.  As members of the two biggest circus families in Europe, Patrick and Merrylu’s union seems like a fairytale come true.  However, as off-stage conflict grows between the two, it puts the relationship between the two families at risk.

Life in the circus is almost like a world into itself.  The Berdino and Casselly families go back generations and Patrick and Merrylu both grew up together under the big top.  When the two started a relationship with each other, it began to fulfill a dream of uniting two of Europe’s greatest circus dynasties. However, it quick turns out that life is not a fairytale and sometimes things don’t turn out as expected.

Romantic story aside, The Circus Dynasty is an interesting look at life under the big top.  There are many challenges by circus performers, such as pulling off death-defying  stunts or the difficulty of working with animals.  Patrick and Merrylu have the added stress of being the heirs to two of the greatest circus families and carrying Circus Arena into the future. The film goes heavily into the relationship between the two families, which has lasted for more than two decades, and The Circus Dynasty actually gets quite a bit emotional by the end.

★ ★ ★ ★ | LIKED IT

Sean Kelly

About Sean Kelly -

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described ├╝ber-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).