The Circle

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Total Count: 22


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Movie Info

Zürich in the mid-1950s: The young shy teacher Ernst Ostertag (Matthias Hungerbühler) becomes a member of the gay organization DER KREIS (The Circle), whose publication unites the fragile yet vibrant post World War II gay community in Switzerland. Upon meeting cabaret singer and female impersonator Röbi Rapp (Sven Schelker), Ernst immediately falls head over heels in love with him, and he finds himself torn between his bourgeois existence and acceptance of his homosexuality. For Röbi, it is a relationship that proves to last a lifetime. Featuring a unique blend of narrative and documentary formats with the modern day protagonists commenting on the scripted sequences of the film, THE CIRCLE deftly charts the increasing repression against homosexuals in Zurich as the two young and very different men fight for their love, and, together with their friends, for the rights of gays. (C) Wolfe


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Critic Reviews for The Circle

All Critics (22) | Top Critics (10) | Fresh (22)

  • A richly absorbing historical docudrama revolving around Ernst Ostertag and Robi Rapp, who in 2003 became the first same-sex couple to enjoy legal recognition in Switzerland.

    Dec 18, 2014 | Full Review…
  • It's earnest but rather sweet.

    Dec 12, 2014 | Rating: 3/5

    Wendy Ide

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic
  • The early days of gay rights are lovingly, clunkily presented in director Stefan Haupt's docudrama about Swiss gay magazine the Circle.

    Dec 11, 2014 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

    Henry Barnes

    Top Critic
  • One of Europe's leading gay rights organisations is the subject of this fascinating and vital docu-drama.

    Dec 11, 2014 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • It's not exactly Oscar-worthy drama, but you'll feel the injustice of people forced to hide their true selves.

    Dec 11, 2014 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

    Cath Clarke

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Stefan Haupt's conscientious and engaging film makes clear right off the bat that, no, there was no place in Europe that was a gay utopia in this period and that even the most progressive-minded of societies had their growing pains.

    Nov 21, 2014 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Circle

  • Apr 06, 2015
    "The Circle" was Switzerland's entry for the Academy Awards' Best Foreign Language category, and it measures up as a fine film. The film is a dramatized documentary about the first legally recognized same-sex couple in Switzerland. Although the acting and production values are akin to BBC productions, one gets lost in the world of shame, fear and suspicion that surrounded the gay community in 1950's postwar Europe. It's really a compelling time capsule that's worthwhile to experience.
    Christian C Super Reviewer

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