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La Pivellina

film series: From Vault to Screen: Austria

As a precautionary measure in light of COVID-19, the Gallery has canceled this event. We hope to welcome you to the Gallery soon and thank you for your support.

The modest yet colorful tale of a makeshift family of itinerant circus people living on the outskirts of Rome was a subject that attracted Rainer Frimmel and Tizza Covi, an Austro-Italian filmmaking team who specialize in documenting outsider circus communities. The main characters — circus knife-throwers playing themselves — bring an abandoned small child (la pivellina) into their trailer. When all hope of finding la pivellina's parents has gone, they try acclimating her to their unconventional lifestyle. "These . . . performers represent something lacking in modern life, a sense of family." — Bill Thompson. (Tizza Covi and Rainer Frimmel, 2009, subtitles, 100 minutes)