Sunday, August 16, 2020

Circus of Books (2019) directed by Rachel Mason

Karen and Barry Mason were having trouble making ends meet when they decided to take a chance distributing  Hustler fro Larry Flint, a decision which led to them distributing even more x-rated magazines and that in turn led them to becoming owners of a gay porn bookstore, something the couple hid from friends and even their own children for years. To them is was a business decision and they ran the business well for decades until the internet and online free porn caught up with them and they had to close the business down. 

The director is the couple's own daughter and despite some pretty tough reluctance from her her mother i particular, she tells a very personal story of two people who get involved in a business they had no interest in but ended up being an inspirations to 1000s as they not only pushed to stay open during the reason years but dealt head on with the AIDS crisis and finally their own issues when they discover one of the children is gay. 

This is not a high budget film which I think helps keep it on subject and real. Mason keeps the story on her family while all the time showing the events and political world changing over the 3 decades of the store's existence. While her parents are great people, they are not perfect and are not presented as perfect which makes the whole thing very relatable. Brave to Netflix for bringing this to us, I wish it was around when some of my earlier documentaries were made. 

No comments: