The Tightrope

The Tightrope

Director(s): Nuria Ibañez

Fest Year: 2010

Series:

Runtime:

In Person: director Nuria Ibáñez

A bare-bones outfit of five family members tours Mexico in a ramshackle traveling circus; the applause is sparse and the money sparser. With an observational but unmistakably cinematic touch, director Núria Ibáñez makes not only the greasepaint and sawdust palpable but also the weird charms and unique loneliness of the circus’s marginal, tumbleweed existence. In the midst of these difficulties, daughter Jaque attempts to balance her attraction to the spotlight and loyalty to her family with her new husband’s mounting frustration with the performer life (this and not the high-wire act is the title’s reference point) as Dariela Ludlow’s restless camera work perfectly evokes her disequilibrium. The result is a vividly textured elegy that handles its thematic riches with a grace, theatricality and precision worthy of its title. (KP)

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