Through the wisdom of their Aboriginal matriarch, the famous Colleano circus family outmaneuvered 1900’s oppression and racism to rise to the highest echelons of international circus stardom. Generations later, flamboyant, American-born, octogenarian Molly O’Donnell meets Deb Hescott, an Australian family historian with a DNA connection to Molly’s Colleano line. They build a bridge across the oceans on a quest to reclaim identity, connect to ancestors and unearth family secrets. In doing so, Molly breaks the cycle of the Hidden Generation and reignites The Colleano Heart.
From humble beginnings in outback Australia, the Colleano circus quickly earned a reputation of excellence and local stardom. Remarkably, this Aboriginal family managed to legally leave Australia, performing world class circus acts shapeshifting around the world, under the guise of their varied acts; Royal Hawaiians, Arab Tumblers, Senorita Sanchez, Zeneto and Panko, the Colleano Sisters ladder balancing act, Bonar’s Ponies, The Olympian Gladiators, all to avoid the controlling policies of the 1900’s.
Con, was the most famous Colleano (and the highest paid circus performer of his era), considered circus royalty for his amazing tight wire acts and still the only Australian male to be inducted to the Circus Hall of Fame. Con was a visionary with a 16mm camera and filmed many hours of the Colleano family life. This rich archival footage blends into the contemporary world of Molly’s quest for truth, as she “up-ends” her life in Florida, and embarks on a road trip across the USA and Australia.
Molly comes to realise her Aboriginality was the missing part of herself, finding a sense of home in a place she had never been before and connecting to family she never knew she had. Now is Molly’s time to shine and reignite the Colleano Heart and bring family back together in the bosom of truth. Truth telling at its greatest!