The Great Zambini (2005)

  |  Short, Drama

The Great Zambini (2005) Poster

The remains of an ancient circus can still be seen on the outskirts of a big city.


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5 April 2014 | bob the moo
Deftly delivered without dialogue or melodrama
A young boy lives with his parents in the ruins of an old circus, long faded beyond its glory days – just like his dwarf father, who is a figure of mockery rather than wonder to children, a contrast to his days in the circus which exist beyond the memory of his son.

When I realized that this film was not in English and that the children's taunts were not subtitled, I wondered if I would be able to watch it without understanding the dialogue. As it turns out, beyond these children's cries, there is no dialogue and instead the film tells its story with slight touches and good performances to let the viewer fully understand the character's feelings, realizations and motives. It is a simple tale of a son ashamed of his father, and a father who realizes this. The device to deliver this plot is nicely understated and left to the imagination of the viewer (and, more importantly, the boy) but it doesn't really matter because the relationship and the silent knowledge of the father is what plays out the best.

The two performances capture this well and the direction of the cast and the camera maximizes the understanding of this. It is a very nicely delivered piece that is tender without being sentimental, imaginative without overdoing the effects of the idea and lets the relationship and feelings of the character sink in without the need for soapy dialogue or overwrought music. Very nicely done.

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Plot Summary


Short | Drama


Release Date:

17 September 2005



Country of Origin


Filming Locations

Madrid, Spain

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