Full Record

Main Title: The Carnival [electronic resource]
Imprint: place of publication not listed : JOTZ Productions ; 2023
Collation: sound, colour ; .Mp4 file 1 video file (85 min.) :
Subject: Bell Family Carnival
Bell family
Circus and circuses
Documentary films
COVID-19 (Disease)
Black Summer bushfires (2019-2020)
Family histories
Australian movies and television programs
Amid bushfires, the pandemic and punters’ changing tastes, the family behind the Bells Family Carnival fight to preserve the attraction’s century-long legacy.

The Bells Family Carnival is a sixth-generation family business, and all year round, across Australia, the Bells drive a 30-strong fleet of trailers containing the vast disassembled rides they’ll rebuild by hand come rain, hail or shine. The shrieks and giggles escaping from visitors flung high into the air, in circles and upside down are all that matter to 54-year-old patriarch Elwin, for whom there is no better life. But whereas some of his children share his sentiments, others dream of a different path. Meanwhile, rising costs, unreliable insurance, unpredictable patronage, the bushfires and COVID-19 complicate the Bells’ struggle to keep the operation afloat.

Debut feature director Isabel Darling spent seven years following the Bells and admits to having felt “tempted to drop it all and run away with them at times”. Filled with big-hearted wonder, the resulting film observes moments both intimate and intense while situating the Bells’ plight as part of the broader tradition of the carnival – especially in a world where new technologies have changed our understanding of leisure and enjoyment.

This film is the subject of an agreement. Please see Collections Librarian before use. Available for viewing on library computers only.
Result Collection Location Shelf No Status Notes
Video Library Computers Folder: Video: Movies and television programs Available This film can only be viewed on the PMI computers