In a Den of Lions

Eduard Schnedler-Sørensen, 1912, 28 min
Every day is life and death for the circus performers of the big city. Tightrope dancer Ulla lives and works in a circus with her family. Tragically, her husband plunges to his death after a wrong step during the eternal acrobatic ‘dance macabre’. In the midst of Ulla’s grief, the lion tamer proves to be a true predator, eyeing up an easy prey. Ulla quickly faces bigger worries, as the circus director forces her to walk on a tightrope directly over the lion tamer’s ferocious lions.

This film has Danish intertitles.

In the 1910s, films about circus life were hugely popular. People visited the circus to see sensational performances, and films featuring the arena in a way funnelled the circus experience into the cinema. Dangerous jumps, precarious tightrope dancing or deadly circus animals created the drama and momentum in those films.

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