THE CIRCLE @ 2014 Damn These Heels Film Festival | July 11-13

THE CIRCLE
Der Kreis
Directed by Stefan Haupt
102 min | 2014 | Switzerland | Not Rated
Presented in Swiss and German with English subtitles.

This award-winning film chronicles a tumultuous period for Switzerland’s pioneering gay male organization, The Circle, as seen through the eyes of timid schoolteacher Ernst Ostertag and drag performer Röbi Rapp, partners for more than 50 years! The couple first met through their association with The Circle, the centre of Switzerland’s discreet, but thriving, gay community. The Circle was known both for the magazine it produced, which was read by thousands in Switzerland and abroad, and for its legendary annual masked balls.

In present-day interviews, the wonderfully charming Ernst and Röbi recount their lives in the 1950s while wonderfully acted and artfully directed reenactments document the growth of their relationship, the important role The Circle played in their lives, and the way a series of murders at the end of the 1950s shook Zurich’s gay male community, leading to repression and scapegoating that threatened The Circle’s existence. Director Stefan Haupt’s strong storytelling uncovers a fascinating and important period of gay history and liberation and inspires us with Ernst and Röbi’s self-knowledge and courage.

Winner: Teddy Award and Panorama Audience Award—2014 Berlin International Film Festival, Audience Award for best documentary—Boston LGBT Film Festival