A Big Country: Alberto's Circus on Tour
This excerpt from the ABC program A Big Country covers the Tasmanian leg of Alberto's Circus' travels across Australia. It's extraordinary seeing some of the animals in open trucks; the circus must have been quite a sight when it rolled into town to set up at local showgrounds.
It also gives an insight into the logistics involving in transporting a circus consisting of: five trucks, three caravans, ten monkeys, five ponies, four donkeys, three camels, two elephants, one tiger, one wolf and one llama.
For over 20 years, from 1968 to 1991, A Big Country was broadcast on prime-time ABC television, winning awards and high ratings. This clip is a wonderful example of the kind of short documentaries the ABC made, highlighting aspects of Australian life, particularly from rural regions.
The segment gets up close with the circus and gives us a real sense of the long distances they travelled to perform for the public. Despite the decades since this story aired, it's still thoroughly engaging.
Note: the NFSA does not endorse the use of animals for entertainment purposes. This film must be understood in its historical context.