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Circus of Books

Imagine discovering that your parents have been running a gay adult book store for most of their lives…

Dir Rachel Mason
Prod Camilla Hall, Cynthia Childs, Kathryn Robson, Rachel Mason, Adam Baran, Gerry Herman
USA
2019
87min
UK Distribution Netflix

When they fell on hard times in the 1970s, Karen and Barry Mason answered an ad in the local paper, asking for people to distribute Larry Flynt’s new magazine Hustler. One thing led to another and they became the unlikely owners of Circus of Books, a gay adult book store and porn distributor in LA. The couple’s daughter, director Rachel Mason, turned her camera on her family to explore this stranger-than-fiction story and the many obstacles her parents encountered, from keeping their business secret from their loved ones and facing jail for obscenity, to witnessing the AIDS epidemic and the challenges faced in the age of the Internet. Funny and compassionate, this is a tender and charming portrait of an unconventionally conventional family.

Laure Bonville

Festival guests

These members of the filmmaking team are expected to attend the festival:

  • Rachel Mason, director; Camilla Hall, producer; Cynthia Childs, producer; Kathryn Robson, producer; Gerry Herman, producer.

See the full list of visiting festival guests. Please note that we can’t guarantee guest attendance at any particular screening.

Additional information

The screening on Sunday 13 October is an accessible screening for customers who are D/deaf or hard or hearing. The film has English language subtitles, including descriptions of non-dialogue audio. It is also an accessible BSL event for customers who are D/deaf or hard or hearing and will be BSL interpreted.

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