ByRosalyn Lim 林惠美, writer at Creators.co
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Rosalyn Lim 林惠美

The Circle Poster

Love is not a crime.
Love is not a crime.

The Circle at a glance

Der Kreis (2014), also known as The Circle, is an award winning Swiss documentary drama directed by Stefan Haupt. It won the Best Documentary and Panorama Audience Award at 2014 Berlin Film Festival's Teddy Awards which honors the best LGBT films.

The Circle Trailer

The Circle Synopsis

Zürich in the mid 50's: The young shy teacher Ernst Ostertag becomes a member of the gay organization DER KREIS. There he gets to know the transvestite star Röbi Rapp–and immediately falls head over heels in love with him.

The Circle Review

With real Ernst Ostertag & Röbi Rapp.
With real Ernst Ostertag & Röbi Rapp.

Before I proceed with my movie review, I would like to thank Contrast Film, Wolfe Video and Moviepilot for the exclusive screening! Ernst Ostertag and Röbi Rapp feel that they are incredibly lucky to survive, I feel incredibly lucky to be able to watch Der Kreis (2014)! ♥

Röbi Rapp, Star of The Circle.
Röbi Rapp, Star of The Circle.

Der Kreis (2014), also known as The Circle, is one of the most important, if not the most important film you must watch in 2015. Due to that, I've struggled writing this review; it took me so much longer than usual as it is a masterpiece produced by Stefan Haupt and it is certainly too beautiful to miss!

Ernst and Felix at the ball.
Ernst and Felix at the ball.

A documentary drama like no other, it shows the struggles faced by the members of The Circle as well as gay people in that era through the real life and love story between the two living legends. It can be heartbreaking as I have shared last week on Moviepilot but all of their endurance can also be truly inspirational to all, regardless of sexual orientation.

Here are several more reasons why The Circle is amazing and you have to watch it!

Der Kreis, Le Circle, The Circle... Trilingual.
Der Kreis, Le Circle, The Circle... Trilingual.

From the moment the film starts, you are cordially sent into The Circle world. You will be able learn more about the organization from how it works to what they do and why the magazine was so proper that it has more than two thousand subscribers from all over the world.

Members of The Circle.
Members of The Circle.

Two thousand is not a small number especially back then; each of the magazines were read by at least four different people through the paid subscriber's subscription. They even have to go through censors but they made it; leaving us can't help but to be amazed by their passion!

One of The Circle Ball.
One of The Circle Ball.

In addition to what may have been the contents of the magazine, you will also be able to see the recreation of the exclusive ball, the only mega gay event in the entire world in the past. Although the classic gay hangout and entertainment are limited as ever, it is still a joy to be able to see such feat has been achieved before.

Röbi's mother.
Röbi's mother.

Then, the endearing characters. I won't spoil it for you but I am sure you would just want to love them. There are also plenty of nasty characters but that's what makes Der Kreis (2014) a great film because the storyline is absorbing and heartfelt thanks to all of the amazing actors and actresses!

Ernst's parents. The bourgeoisie.
Ernst's parents. The bourgeoisie.

Despite Der Kreis (2014) is a LGBT themed film, it is actually much more of a humanity film. If you truly analyse it, there are plenty of social issues depicted here; which is why, this is one of the most important film you should watch in 2015. It is based on real people and true stories.

The Circle HQ.
The Circle HQ.

As mentioned previously, sometimes tremendous sacrifice is required to do what you love and it is one of the heartbreaking facts from Der Kreis (2014). There are many examples in this documentary drama film such as how gay people are being treated differently to the extent that they have to live a double life and how difficult it was for them to fight for their rights and freedom. As a result, many suffered loneliness and losses even though they are just being themselves and doing what they truly love.

Röbi.
Röbi.

Their struggles brought tears to my eyes because it is a living proof that many people out there are unfortunate. Freedom of expression and freedom to love is not possible even at home no matter who you are and it is much worst for LGBT people. Nonetheless, it is an inspiring film because there are so much to learn from this documentary drama!

Robi, the star of The Circle.
Robi, the star of The Circle.

If you have never seen a homosexual or homoerotic film before, this could be a great one to start with. There could be some scenes not suitable for minors but not excessive. It is half documentary, half drama; meaning you can expect gay awareness and education elements with real life interview and historical footage.

Ernst.
Ernst.

Most of all, Der Kreis (2014) is bona fide. The series of events are unpredictable in accordance to the interview and all of the scenes either show the significance of their efforts or how they survived the battle. It is about what happened in the past and I watch until the credits and Röbi's singing ended because I loved all of it, great performance, voice and music!

Ernst and Röbi.
Ernst and Röbi.

As a conclusion, Der Kreis (2014) also known as The Circle, is a gem in filmmaking and humanity. This exceptional documentary drama film filled with tragedy, surprises and the most beautiful living legends is difficult to describe in words but I hope it is enough to persuade you to watch it!

PS. So happy that the couple lived happily together to this date! I wish them health and happiness forever!

Who will like this?

If you like support LGBT and humanity, you will like this for sure!!
I think this film is one of the rare films that everyone should watch!!

Details of the movie

Director: Stefan Haupt
Producer: Ivan Madeo, Urs Frey
Story: Ernst Ostertag, Röbi Rapp
Screenplay: Stefan Haupt, Christian Felix, Ivan Madeo, Urs Frey
Cinematography: Tobias Dengler
Music: Federico Bettini
Production: Contrast Film, Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen (SRF)
Starring: Ernst Ostertag, Röbi Rapp, Matthias Hungerbühler, Sven Schelker, Marianne Sägebrecht, Anatole Taubman, Antoine Monot, Jr.
Full Credit: [IMDb]
Distributor: Wolfe Video
Country: Switzerland
Language: German
Genre: Biography Documentary Drama Romance
Running time: 102 mins
Budget: Not sure.
Box office: Not sure.

How do I watch?!

The film is now available on VOD (including user-friendly WolfeOnDemand) and will be available on DVD March 31 from Wolfe Video.

Official website(s)

thecircle-movie.com

This movie review is exclusive on Moviepilot.
Rosalyn can be contacted via email and facebook.
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