Commencing with a majestic sweep through and around a travelling circus set some time in the early part of a different century we discover Iakov applying his make-up with expert hands though even he is unable to disguise the passing years. Events trigger memories of his past when as the star of the Milovan Circus he commanded respect for his range of skills. Acrobat, magician even the human cannon ball. Shrouded in mystery a woman appears on a woven trapeze, viewed from the wings in amazement by the now ageing performer. All the time the seedy circus owner rewards his prodigy until a replacement arrives against whom there can be no opposition. Iakov is thrown on the street to make one last, and impressive, pavement performance. Old stagers never die. Belgian director Gerlando Infuso is responsible for an atmospheric recreation of the circus, with a set and manipulation of puppetry that is startlingly good; one can almost reach out and wipe the dust from the much travelled scenery whilst the puppets themselves are expertly made. Works of art. Philippe Tasquin composed truly wonderful music that supports a very superior movie that, amidst all the theatricality, is an affecting statement on growing old laced, of course, with all the magic of the circus. I am busily writing up the highlights of the year. Who knows, Gerlando's wizardry may well just get into the top ten.