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A documentary film about an extraordinary circus project with children and teenagers from Costa Rica during their tour across Europe.

The documentary film “Circo Fantazztico” deals with the socio-cultural significance of a circus with children, granting an insight into the everyday life of circus children in Costa Rica as well as during their tour across Europe. A new opus from the film-maker Carola Mair who filmed the young artists on their way in San Isidro, Costa Rica, Seligenstadt/Germany, Barcelona/Spain and Linz/Austria. The focus of this filmic documentation lies on the young Viennese woman Alexandra Graf who has been managing the children’s circus for a couple of years now, as well as on the girl Alexandra Gonzales Campos from Costa Rica working as an artist. Together with other eighteen artists and sixteen volunteers from Europe and Latin America the circus went on tour for two months in Western Europe.

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The encounter of different cultures means wealth for humankind, provided that people live with great respect for each other’s culture. The young artists and their custodians are accompanied by the camera throughout their tour across Europe and during their everyday lives in Costa Rica. In how far can art influence the consciousness of a child? Which kind of aesthetic values come into being in a child’s psyche which will then turn into ethic values? Is a multicultural development, the encounter with other continents able to increase the learning of new knowledge? Which consequences in the sense of international understanding will have the coming together of young generations of a different culture? And what does it mean to the volunteers and civil servants to see themselves as organisers, circus managers, foster parents and teachers for the young artists? What exactly is the cultural exchange between them and the young people from Costa Rica? Which challenge is it for the young Viennese woman Alexandra Graf to manage the circus as a director? The film tries to give answers to these questions which are indeed found in the many discussions with the young artists.

I have met Alexandra Gonzales Campos in the course of my investigations in Costa Rica. I noticed the girl immediately because of her introverted character, at the same time I was fascinated by her artistic self-image, how she acted on the rag as an acrobate. I got to know Alexandra Graf during the shooting in Spain. She is responsible for the circus management. The young woman is an acrobate herself and started to work with the Circus Chaos in Vienna at the age of four. She has been leading the circus in Costa Rica for many years now. The circus became her life, she does not consider her work as a job but rather as a dream she is living, in which she can self-actualize and where her work yields fruit. With the help of other volunteers, Alexandra invents scenes, writes theatre pieces and designs costumes, looks after the circus children and their relatives, does organisation and public relations work. A young woman, who - with her vast energy and vivacity – is wonderfully sweeping and inspiring.

She succeeded in enthralling me as well and thus I consider her as an antipole to and a positive example for the present no-future generation which many teenagers of the so-called computer age are part of.

Director/Book and Production: Carola Mair
Camera: Gerald Hoetzeneder, Flo Fessl, Erika Michalke, Carola Mair
Sound: Gerald Höfler
Editor: Johanna Tschautscher
Music: Matthias Ruckdäschl



  Carola Mair • Mozartstraße 9 • A-4800 Attnang-Puchheim
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