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Time Out says
Capable of portraying both older women and gamines, Soviet icon Orlova plays one of the former in The Circus, in which she stars as a traveling American cannonball artist
who’s secretly mothered a black child. Her visit to Russia becomes a
romantic comedy of errors; after a Busby Berkeleyesque circus number
with juggled torches, the movie ends by affirming that the USSR loves
all children. Cut to footage of the cast marching with Lenin flags and
Stalin banners—a burst of overt propaganda all the more jarring given
the context that precedes it.