The Circle Review

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Two men, Ernst Ostertag and Röbi Rapp, fall in love and become prominent figures in Zurich's Circle, an underground homosexual society that made the city a buzzing bohemian metropolis in the staid 1950s. With a docu-drama style, this film follows its real


A not completely successful docu-drama, The Circle charts the story of the ’50s Swiss gay magazine and network, in particular the relationship between naive teacher Ernst (Matthias Hungerbühler) and underage drag act Röbi (Sven Schelker) who would go on to become Switzerland’s first same-sex couple to register as partners in the noughties. The film flits between well-played and attractively mounted drama — furtive romance, secret magazine-making, rowdy club nights, police raids — and touching talking-head reminiscences, but never coheres into a satisfying whole. Still, it’s an important story, worth telling in any format.

A solid telling that spans several fascinating periods of 20th century life.