The Great Indomitable Circus prepares the premiere of their new performance ‘Rights of Man’. Setting up tent in a sleepy northern Spanish town, they devise changes in the style of their show. But their days become mired in meandering vaudevillian arguments, analysing the grandeur of the landscape, the simplicity of the native architecture or the quality of each other’s performances. After much back-and-forth, they end up sticking to their original script.

Introduction by filmmaker Juan Rodrigañez

The film will be preceded by the 2019 Berwick New Cinema Competition award presentation

Juan Rodrigáñez’s quietly brilliant film has a timeless feel—harkening back to Fellini and Bergman’s images of the circus in La Strada and Smiles of a Summer Night, respectively—and gains steam through sharp interactions between characters who never fully reveal their motives. The filmmaker’s eye for painterly composition allows the viewer to drink in the rich images, observing with great excitement scenes that might unfold over several minutes in front of a static camera. Much is left unexplained and ambiguous, though we feel quite immediately that this is a strange, makeshift family, a band of outsiders who are more suited to performing in front of an audience than existing alongside other humans. — Herb Shellenberger

"'Art, like bread, it’s hard on the outside, but soft on the inside,' is the wisdom offered by one of the circus performers in Juan Rodrigáñez’s delightful Rights of Man. It was one of the last films I saw at FID [Marseille], and a perfect way to conclude the festival: a warm, playful, unpretentious, and quietly hilarious sendup of art and politics." —Carmine Grimaldi, MUBI Notebook

Juan Rodrigáñez

Juan Rodrigáñez (1971, Madrid) studied film before finishing his Bachelor of History. Among other diverse activities, he ran the art gallery La verde oliva in Grenada and co-edited the Vera Poetry Review.
Rodrigañez's first short film A la sierra de Armenia (2008) premiered at ZINEBI (Bilbao International Festival of Documentary and Short Films). In 2015, he produced and directed his first feature Der Geldkomplex (El complejo de dinero) through his own production company, Tajo abajo. Der Geldkomplex premiered in Berlinale Forum, before showing at Hong Kong International Film Festival, IndieLisboa and FILMADRID.

Filmography

Rights of Man (Derechos del hombre, 2018), Der Geldkomplex (El complejo de dinero, 2015), A la sierra de Armenia (2008)