In Wuqiao, a small Chinese town, the inhabitants are dedicated to circus. For decades, different generations present themselves as clowns, magicians, acrobats and tamers. During the holidays of Chinese New Year, the Wuqiao Acrobatic World turns into a big playground for spectators. Surrounded by Buddhist temples and Taoist sculptures, artists create their own space of circus tradition, imagination, illusion and reality. Backstage life is melancholic. “Wuqiao Circus”, a film about circus life fragments, performative existence and the love for playfulness.
Bio-filmography of the director
Lukas Berger holds a bachelor in Photojournalism & documentary photography from the University of Applied Sciences in Hanover and a M.A in Documentary Film Directing from DocNomads. His first film "Circus Debere Berhan" (2015) premiered at 20th Milano Film Festival and was screened at more than 30 film festivals. His second film "Circus Movements" (2019) premiered at the 57th Ann Arbor Film Festival and was selected for the 68th Melbourne, 16th Vienna Shorts, 23rd PÖFF Shorts and more than 100 film festivals. He filmed “Wuqiao Circus” during the last Chinese New Year before the pandemic, it premiered at 17th Vienna Shorts and was selected for the 45th Hong Kong International Film Festival and many other festivals, winning 6 awards.
The circus always fascinated me: the coexistence, the theatrical part, the diversity within cultures and the travels. My intention is to continue my work on this theme and return to one of the places where circus has always been part of people's lives. The film shows performances and fragments behind the scenes of the unique circus town Wuqiao.
Wuqiao Circus, Funny Circus, Chuipotian Theater, Red Peony Theater, Wuqiao Acrobatic Troupe, Wang Zhen, Yao Cuicui, Li Yinhuai, Sun Tingfing, Mister Erhu, He Shuying, Li Hongding, Song Yanan, Qi Pingping.
Director of Photography/Camera:
Mário Gajo de Carvalho; Lukas Berger
Mário Gajo de Carvalho;
Mário Gajo de Carvalho
14 minutes / Image: 16x9 / Sound: Stereo / Format: HD / Documentary