On the Road with Emil

Not available for screening anymore

On the Road with Emil (Ich habe die angenehme Aufgabe)

Directed by Hubert Sauper

  • Austria 1993; 30 min
  • Original version: German
  • Genre: Documentary, Short
    • Best Short Film - Würzburg IFF
    • Prix Max Ophüls


This charming film follows Emil - circus director and ringmaster - and his little circus from one village to the next, through the Austrian winter landscape. The film reveals the endless routine of circus life and the personal lives of the circus director and his family. We meet his jovial partner and their 10 circus children. They appear to be a happy family and joke about their lives and indiscretions. For the finale under this little big-top, we witness the youngest child being baptised, not only into the Church, but also into the circus life. This film reminds one of old photographs or newsreel footage of circuses from days gone by. This is not a film about the spectacle of performing animals (although the performing goats are something to behold), but rather it is an insightful little film about a family on the road.



    Hubrert Sauper