New film chronicling Swiss gay magazine that survived the Nazis
A new film is set to be released about a Swiss gay magazine that survived the Nazis.
The Circle (Der Kreis) is about Swiss gay mag Der Kreis, and the two lovers who met through the organization and have been together ever since.
The Circle was and underground, internationally circulated gay magazine founded in 1932 under the name Swiss Friendship Banner. It was the only European gay publication to outlast the Nazis.
The film follows a young teacher Ernst Ostertag (Matthias Hungerbulher) and transvestite performer Robi Rapp (Sven Schelker) who fall in love at one of the glamorous costume balls hosted by the publication. As their relationship develops Ernst struggles as a closeted gay man caught between his middleclass German life and the life of activism he has entered through his involvement with The Circle.
In the 1940s and 50s, members of The Circle were accused of murdering a number of gay men in Zurich. The scandal led to the magazines gradual decline. The Circle published its last issue in 1967.
The film uses live interviews with Ostertag and Rapp interspersed with scripted dramatic depictions to tell this story.
The couple was the first legal same-sex marriage in Switzerland.
The film, directed by Stefan Haupt, won the Teddy Award for best documentary with LGBTI themes and the Audience Award at the Berlin International Film Festival earlier this year.
It will be released in Germany and Switzerland this fall with hopeful following releases in the US and Europe.