Review: ‘Pindorama: The True Story of the Seven Dwarves’

When circus life is a family business, as it's viewed in the lightweight docu "Pindorama: The True Story of the Seven Dwarves," it can be so pleasant that it doesn't make for much of a film.

When circus life is a family business, as it’s viewed in the lightweight docu “Pindorama: The True Story of the Seven Dwarves,” it can be so pleasant that it doesn’t make for much of a film. While Brazilian filmmakers Rodrigo Berliner, Lula Queiroga and Leo Crivellare adore the distinctive Pindorama Circus — run by and starring a family of dwarf performers, most close to 2 feet tall — they make what amounts to an inconsequential promo that runs too long in its theatrical form at 84 minutes. Forty-eight-minute version, beamed on Brazilian channels and ready for vid, is more like it.

As the circus sets up in a rural spot, the dwarf stars (Charles, Cleide, Gilberto, Zuleide, Claudio, Rogerio and Lobao Gomes de Oliveira) amusedly boss around the technical crew. The film proceeds to show why the septet has earned its privileged place, starting with Charles and Gilberto, who run the operation, while Claudio negotiates contracts with each municipality the circus visits. Too many interview segments overwhelm the sense viewers should get of the Pindorama show itself, which looks both ribald and goofy.

Pindorama: The True Story of the Seven Dwarves

Brazil

Production

A TV Zero/Luni Producoes presentation. (International sales: TV Zero, Rio de Janeiro.) Executive producers, Danielle Hoover, Roberto Berliner, Rodrigo Letier. Directed by Rodrigo Berliner, Lula Queiroga, Leo Crivellare.

Crew

Camera (color, DV, Super 16), Jacques Cheuiche, Beto Martins, Ricardo Castro Lima; editors, Leonardo Domingues, Daniela Ramalho; music, Queiroga; sound, Nicolas Hallet, Simone Dourado Barbosa; supervising sound editors, Denilson Campos, Mariana Barsted; re-recording mixer, Campos. Reviewed on DVD, Los Angeles, Oct. 31, 2008. (In AFI Los Angeles Film Festival -- competing; Rio de Janeiro film festivals.) Running time: 84 MIN.

With

the Gomes de Oliveira family.
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