NEIGHBORHOOD ENTREPRENEURS. LOCAL HEROES.
Circus of Books is part of the gay history of Los Angeles, a landmark store selling hardcore gay porn, run by a married Jewish couple who were also raising a family. This documentary was made by their daughter, chronicling the waning days of the business as her aging parents are closing everything down. It’s also a look back at how they were targeted by the FBI during Reagan’s moral crusade and what the store meant to men who had to exist in the shadows in those years. People like Larry Flynt and gay-porn legend Jeff Stryker weigh in, but it’s also a loving portrait of the Masons and how they balanced their business with family, faith and one of their sons coming out.
2020-U.S. VOD. 92 min. Color-B/W. Produced by Adam Baran, Cynthia Childs, Camilla Hall, Kathryn Robson. Directed by Rachel Mason. Screenplay: Rachel Mason, Kathryn Robson. Editing: Kathryn Robson.
Last word: “What’s happened since the film has come out is so many people say that scene with Josh is the most relatable [in the film] because so many were not like me. Artists tend to be unafraid and on a maverick side of things, but most people are more like Josh and I think he and his openness to tell that story was game changing. Then my mom’s ability to tell her story and to rethink her religious values is the hidden truth of the film. It’s not really a film about gay porn, as much as I would like it to be. It ended up being a film about my family and what my mom endured with her religious training.” (Mason, MoveableFest.com)