Carny (2008)

Director Alison Murray saw some incredible photographs of carnival workers that inspired her to make the film Carny. She follows the lives of several carnies and reveals a world of lonlieness, poverty and addictions.


Your typical carny is at the end of their rope and running away from something — an abusive relationship, a spouse, usually the law. Many of them are covered in tattoos, missing a lot of teeth and drink a little too much. So how could a film with so much potential be so boring?

The problem is that nothing really happens in Carny. A great subject doesn’t guarantee a great film. Murray introduces us to a cotton candy lesbian, a bitter clown, and a man that lives with two women. They’re all unique characters but their stories lack drama. In my opinion, the film never takes off.

We get a slice of the carny life but it’s dull and uneventful. Two of the people that I watched the film with left halfway through. I stayed until the end but Carny just didn’t do it for me. *½

Films are rated from 1 to 4 stars.

Posted in Hot Docs at 8:22 PM