By Admin | May 10, 2010

Robyn Billey’s documentary focuses on the Rosaire family, the one-time leaders in British and American circus productions. Today, the Florida-based family finds itself alone in a dying sector of the entertainment world.

Focusing solely on animal acts, the Rosaires bring their collection of lions, tigers, bears and chimpanzees to small-time gigs at traveling carnivals and fairs – a far cry from their halcyon days when their audiences included of European royalty. And when gigs are not available, the family members have no problems assuming part-time jobs in construction or trucking.

To their credit, the Rosaires have gone out of their way (and deep into their wallets) to serve as a private rescue organization for wild animals that were abandoned after failed attempts at domestication – and their food bills alone keep the Rosaires from living like royalty. It is clear that every family member and their devoted employees love the animals in their care.

Yet it is difficult to watch their acts – most notably a muzzled bear jumping over small hurdles and a dismal comedy routine involving chimps dressed in comic human clothing – without realizing that the Rosaires have lost connection with modern concepts of entertainment.

Billey, who shot the film over five years, wound up with two discs worth of material for this DVD release. A second disc is devoted to bonus features, including a full one-hour circus performance, which accentuates the notion of providing too much of a bad thing.

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  1. Amber says:

    There is NO reason to make wild animals do tricks and perform for human beings. It’s ridiculous and cruel to haul them around and make them perform for laughs. Why not give them a safe haven and leave them alone? Let them live in a habitat that suitable for them and let the humans do the degrading tricks for cash.

  2. Cathy says:

    The Rosaires are obviously genuine in their love, commitment and passion for their animals.

    I have never met any of the family (although after watching this I would love to meet them. I certainly know plenty of true circus folk just like them even if it is on the other side of the world.)

    This DVD would be the most honest and true story I have ever seen on traditional circus families & believe me I know, as I am a part of one.

    Well done to Robyn Billey.

    Phil Hall, you may think that the Rosaires have “lost connection with modern concepts of entertainment” but if that were the case why is it ok for people to dress their pet dogs up in “comic human clothing” but it’s “dismal” to dress circus chimps in this way?

    Double standards when the word ‘circus’ comes into things.

    Animals don’t feel embarrassment, this is a human emotion, not an animal emotion.

    Phil Hall, what did you mean by “too much of a bad thing”?

    You have noted that the Rosaires obviously love their animals and have gone out of their way (and deep into their wallets) to serve as a private rescue organisation for wild animals….etc

    This is a bad thing?

    Too many lies and misinformation exist about genuine traditional animal circus people.

    I believe that eventually the truth comes out, Thank you to the Rosaires and Robyn Billey.

  3. barry N says:

    Whilst I 100% agree with Phyllis Ann’s sentiment I only wish she had stated her case without lowering herself to abuse of the writer.
    Throughout the world of Circus there are many dedicated families committed to bringing happiness to families through entertainment involving animals.
    In my lifetime I have observed circus folk and their animals for more than 5,000 hours. I was involved in staging major events often large circus shows. I have never seen any of the often stated cruelty. I have only ever seen hard working dedicated people who are 100% committed to their animals.
    I believe this dvd shows a glimpse into that world.

  4. phyllis ann says:

    What moron wrote this????!!!!! The Rosaires are faBulous entertainers and fabulous people. If I could meet you in person I would spit in your classless, un educated, dead souled face. You are a complete loser, failure and an a*****e.
    Thank you 🙂

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