[Press release from Matthew Broomfield.]
"A Clown's Recovery"
Award winning film for best feature documentary (4th Place)
Saturday August 17, 7:25pm screening
Life stopped when i heard the news about my brother, Eric 'Jelly
Boy the Clown' Broomfield.
In this documentary portrait, we explore the driven spirit of
Jelly Boy The Clown who defied all barriers in his miraculous
recovery as a burn survivor and his struggle as an uninsured citizen
of the U.S. The story follows Eric's experience from day 1 of being
trapped in an apartment fire in New York City and his battle to
return to the stage as a circus sideshow performer. Using on the
scene and archival footage, interviews, dramatic recreations,
animation and music performances, our documentary, offers an
intensely personal expression of this unique individual and his drive
to survive with the help of his friends and family.
A graphic chronological view on the wonders of human regeneration.
Focusing on Jelly's day to day struggle in the hospital juxtaposed by
benefit performances put on by the modern circus sideshow community.
The film also addresses the pros and cons of the U.S. medical system.
Displaying never before seen footage of modern circus sideshow
stunts: sword swallowing, fire arts, pierced weight lifting and acts
of the fakir such as beds of nails, human pin cushion, broken glass
It was meant to be the start of an amazing summer. Our Circus
Sideshow troupe, The Squidling Bros. ready to take on the NYC night
life by storm after successful tours throughout the U.S. and Europe
earlier that year. That morning I loaded up my bus with our show
equipment and headed out of Philadelphia en-route to Coney Island
USA. Jelly was in NY already performing at Ripley's Believe or Not as
a sword swallower.
During the 6 weeks that followed I spent most of my time at the
hospital. Staying with friends at night in different places
throughout NYC. On the days I had to return to Philadelphia I made
sure that a friend or family member would be there to visit. Even if
only for a short time. Just to make sure someone was always checking
up on him. When tragedy strikes a true community pulls together. The
international modern circus community sent tremendous mental and
financial support. Donating funds to keep Jelly from afloat
financially while in the hospital was instrumental in his mental
stability when he finally came to 5 weeks later in the ICU. Constant
calls and emails helped Jelly gain the strength to leave the hospital
early and return to stage well before professionally expected.
While not on tour I focused everyday of my life reliving that
summer, from tragic to ridiculous, it was a gruesome yet touching
experience. And now I present to you 'A Clowns Recovery.'