Circus of Books (2019) - Rotten Tomatoes

Circus of Books2019

Circus of Books (2019)

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AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: Like the cheekily named store at this documentary's center, Circus of Books proves there are countless stories below the surface if we're only willing to look.

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Movie Info

For over 35 years, the gay porn shop, Circus of Books, served as the epicenter for LGBT life and culture in Los Angeles. Unbeknownst to many in the community it served, the store was cultivated and cared for by its owners, Karen and Barry Mason; a straight couple with three children. CIRCUS OF BOOKS is an intimate portrait of the Masons and their journey to become one of the biggest distributors of hardcore gay porn in the United States. Their story unfolds through the lens of their daughter, filmmaker and artist, Rachel Mason.

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Critic Reviews for Circus of Books

All Critics (52) | Top Critics (15)

Circus of Books is a triumph of filmmaking in the way it covers such a range of topics so seamlessly: LGBTQ history, pornography, religion, obscenity law, media, AIDS, coming out, parenthood, and more.

May 29, 2020 | Full Review…

Circus of Books is the story of an American family who wandered into the eye of history, and a virtuoso example of how to make a movie both very big and very small at once.

April 29, 2020 | Full Review…

This is a great little L.A. story. It's a great slice of life into a very specific community.

April 24, 2020 | Full Review…

The sense of closure is satisfying, but it's missing a charge.

April 24, 2020 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Both Circus of Books locations have since closed, but this documentary is a necessary, if incomplete, homage to their influence.

April 24, 2020 | Full Review…

People can indeed live at war with themselves and not know it. Here's a case of great things happening once peace is declared.

April 23, 2020 | Full Review…

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