The most striking aspect of the documentary Toda una Vida about the life of a Guatemalan circus family is the narrative sequence. The film revolves around mother Lopez, who rigidly manages the circus since her husband's death, and around her five adult sons. All five of them live on the circus grounds, alone or with their families, perform there and are connected to it with heart and soul. Some of them consider the strong family ties too oppressive; and the mutual competition triggers some rough confrontations between the brothers. But bidding the circus farewell is impossible for all of them. Together, they have to keep the family business going and in any case they can hardly survive (financially) without their relatives. Therefore, director Jacqueline van Vugt waits until the end of the film to show the separate families in a group portrait. Until then, we experience the muddle of a migratory life in a volcanic, bureaucratic country ourselves.
Title: Toda una Vida
Duration : 1 hour, 15 minutes
Category: Long Documentary
Edition: NFF 2004
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