In the vestibule of a hospital room, a young boy waits to see his dying mother. The clamor and spiralling movements of bodies around him intensify, forming a grotesque circus—a cacophonous circle that pushes the child back, depriving him of one final touch of his mother's hand. Using rotoscoped drawings suggestive of charcoal sketches, as well as 3D and object animation techniques, The Circus compels viewing with its unsettling realism. Colour is employed metaphorically to subtly express the promise and the memory of maternal affection. Nicolas Brault's highly personal film, suffused with poetic modesty, casts a poignantly sincere gaze on the heartbreak of a child facing the fearful, mysterious experience of his mother's death.