Circus Without Borders.

By Nancy Novick

The Margaret Mead Festival kicked off its 39th year this Thursday with a screening of “Circus Without Borders”, directed by Susan Gray and Linda Matchan. The film, which played to a full house, depicts the work of Guillaume Saladin and Yamousssa Bangoura, friends with a common vision. Each man runs a small circus company and is devoted to training and inspiring young acrobats in their respective communities—the Canadian Arctic and Guinea, West Africa. Dramatic footage of the barren, snowy landscape of the remote Nunavit and the trash-strewn beaches of Guinea, contrast with the moving stories of the aspiring performers, for whom the circus may be a way out of poverty and isolation.

Other highlights of the festival—which features a record-breaking 31 films with female directors—include:

innovation as it documents a visit by the residents of Hallstatt, Austria to Huizou, China, where an exact replica of the Austrian town is on display.

The Margaret Mead Film Festival continues at the American Museum of Natural History through Sunday evening with a schedule of 57 films from more than 40 countries, as well as special events and performances. For more information and a complete schedule, visit

Nancy Novick blogs about the literary life of the Upper West Side at

ART | 2 comments | permalink
    1. adami says:

      also “Exit Zero: An Industrial Family Story” by my friends Christine Walley & Chris Boebel, about the life & death of a Chicago steel town will be premiering at the fest on Saturday, Oct 24th at 2:30. Check it out: