Spartacus & Cassandra

Ioanis Nuguet, 80 min, France.

Thirteen-year-old Spartacus and 10-year-old Cassandra are Roma siblings taken in by Camille, a young trapezist who starts a circus on the outskirts of Paris. Brother and sister find a sense of belonging under the big top, and begin attending school. When the circus folds, the French state and the children’s parents wage a tug-of-war over custody, and the kids are forced to make the impossible choice between foster care with Camille or life on the run with mom and dad. Harrowing rows, teary phone calls and tense meetings between the children and their parents reveal the love, jealousy and deep disappointment that runs through—and threatens to ruin—their relationships. Profound insights from Spartacus and Cassandra about their complete reversal of the parent-child dynamic anchor this visually stunning and emotionally enlightening look at children forced to take on enormous adult responsibilities.

Spartacus and Cassandra is Ioanis Nuguet's debut film. It was nominated for the Audience Award at Angers European First Film Festival in 2015.

Spartacus & Cassandra is shown at Doc Lounge as a part of Moving Docs.