The Circle (2014 film)

2014 Swiss film / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The Circle (German: Der Kreis) is a 2014 Swiss docudrama film.[1] Written and directed by Stefan Haupt, the film concerns the social network of gay men that developed in Zurich in the 1940s and 1950s, centered on The Circle, a gay publication, and the social events it sponsored. As the police investigate three murders of gay men by rent boys, they scapegoat The Circle and its subscribers for making Zurich an international center of gay tourism.[1]

Quick facts: The Circle (Der Kreis), Directed by, Written ...
The Circle
(Der Kreis)
Directed byStefan Haupt
Written byStefan Haupt, Christian Felix, Ivan Madeo, Urs Frey
Produced byIvan Madeo, Urs Frey
CinematographyTobias Dengler
Edited byChristoph Menzi
Music byFederico Bettini
Release date
  • February 2014 (2014-02) (Berlin)
Running time
102 minutes
LanguageSwiss German

The film focuses on the story of Ernst Ostertag and Röbi Rapp, a schoolteacher and a drag entertainer, who met through their participation in the publication inner circle and began a lifelong romantic relationship. Interviews with them and other survivors and experts on the era are interspersed with documentary film and photographs as well as a scripted dramatic enactment of the story. The lack of legal proscription against homosexuals and Zurich's growing notoriety provide the context for the growth of a publication that overtly catered to a gay readership while avoiding explicit materials, both in prose and illustrations, in order to meet the standards of Swiss censorship.

The couple are portrayed by Matthias Hungerbühler and Sven Schelker, with documentary interviews with the real Ostertag and Rapp.

The Circle was selected as the Swiss entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 87th Academy Awards, but was not nominated.