Film Screening: The Circle (Der Kreis) followed by Q&A and reception with director Stefan Haupt
Film - Documentary | February 6 | 6-9 p.m. | 370 Dwinelle Hall
About the film:
Founded in the early 1940s, the network around the magazine "The Circle" ("Der Kreis") was the only gay organization to survive the Nazi regime. It blossomed during the post-war years into an internationally renowned underground club. Legendary masked balls at the Theater am Neumarkt in Zurich provided 800 visitors from all over Europe with a secret and safe space to act out their otherness in a self-determined way. It is there that timid teacher Ernst Ostertag falls in love with drag star Röbi Rapp. Ernst searches for a way to fight for his gayness to be accepted as normal outside the boundaries of The Circle network without losing his employment as a teacher. Röbi champions the joint fruition of their love. Following a murder in the gay community, violent repression against gay people also endangers The Circle network.
Stefan Haupt's film uncovers the fascinating universe of one of the first gay liberation communities. Enriched by impressive conversational records with Ernst Ostertag and Röbi Rapp, the film depicts a decades-long love story made taboo by society and reveals the couple's inspiring self-knowledge and courage.
The Circle won the Panorama Audience Award and the Teddy Award at the Berlinale, and 2015 Swiss Film Award, Best Feature Film.
About the director:
Born in 1961 in Zurich, Switzerland. Since 1989 he works as an independent film and theatre director. In 1998 he founded his own production company, Fontana Film, in Zurich. His feature film debut Utopia Blues (2001) was honoured with the Zurich Film Prize and the Swiss Film Award. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross (2003) is one of the most successful Swiss documentary films to date, with some 300,000 viewers throughout Europe.