The Circle (2014)
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as Willi Öttli
as Kommissar Baumgartner
as Kommissar Stamm
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Critic Reviews for The Circle
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.
It's not exactly Oscar-worthy drama, but you'll feel the injustice of people forced to hide their true selves.
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.
The movie has the measured, dutiful quality of docudrama (and some on-the-nose dialogue). But it's a chapter in history well worth bringing to light.
The romance between Ernst and Röbi acts as a microcosmic example of a larger debate whose broad terms remain familiar.
From its backroom politics to its bedroom activities, "The Circle" has a sincerity and an honesty that shames far more expensive but over-polished dramas; "The Circle" shows you both the happy ending and the incredibly hard work it took to get there.
Audience Reviews for The Circle
"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.
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