The Last Circus is a 2010 Spanish film by director Álex de la Iglesia.
1937, Spain is in the midst of the brutal Spanish Civil War. A “Happy” circus clown is interrupted mid-performance and forcibly recruited by a militia. Still in his costume, he is handed a machete and led into battle against National soldiers, where he single-handedly massacres an entire platoon.
Fast forward to 1973, the tail end of the Franco regime. Javier, the son of the clown, dreams of following in his father’s career footsteps but has seen too much tragedy in his life-he’s simply not funny and is only equipped to play the role of the Sad Clown.
He finds work in a circus where he befriends an outlandish cast of characters, but as the Sad Clown, he must take the abuse of the brutish Happy Clown Sergio, who humiliates Javier daily in the name of entertainment. It is here that he meets Natalia, a gorgeous acrobat, and abused wife of Sergio. Javier falls deeply in love with Natalia and tries to rescue her from her cruel and violent husband…
“A grotesque parable of Franco-era tyranny and opposition, The Last Circus proves a more demented, if also uneven, companion piece to Guillermo del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth.” Slant Magazine
“It is one of the most bizarre and wonderful movies I’ve seen in a long, long time. Any movie that starts with a clown wielding a machete is on the right track. Circus performers conscripted against their will to fight a war they neither believe in, nor have any interest in participating in. How can you go wrong?” Beyond Hollywood
“The Last Circus is many things. Unhinged. Maniacal. Boisterous. It’s also surprisingly affecting. Recommended.”
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Balada triste de trompeta “Sad Trumpet Ballad”