Friday, November 21, 2014

THE CIRCLE jim fouratt chats w/historical subjects ernst and robi re: i934 Zurich

The CIRCLE is the kind of documentary I love . I discovered by watching it something I did not know nor ever heard of: In 1934 a group of gay men in Zurich formed a private social club to break isolation and to publish a journal that would be published in three languages.This club continued to meet despite the outside world of the 30's and 40' In 1948 the KREIS rented  a  pub in Zurich to house a  club in which „homophiles“ from all over Switzerland could meet, exchange ideas and get to know one another.  The film focuses on a couple,Ernst Ostertag, and Röbi Rapp, who met at the  ther club in the 1950's  and are still in a same sex relationship now institutionalized as marriage  last.. Director Stefan Haupt  mixed current footage of the couple while recreating in a narrative form the history of the club and the period when these two men met. The Journal was published in 3 languages and was read all over the world. George Platt Lynes and Harry Hay bot appeared in the pages. A complete set of the journal is in the US at YALE

 THE CIRCLE is not only a love story but a wonder discovery of how gay and lesbian people found ways to build community when homosexuality was a crime. Like Mattachine in the US this is a remarkable story whose appeal is more than just historical. A couple who have been together for 58 years has something to say to  couples of all ages and sexual orientation

What the film may lack in craft (minor) is over come by the history reclaimed,

This video interview took place at a breakfast for the couple and the director at the Swiss Consulate in New York City. It was not ideal location for an interview and I had to squeeze on to a couch to talk directly to them. But the audio is perfect ,,,

THE CIRCLE (DER KREIS) is  Switzerland's official submission for the Foreign Language Film Academy Award  and it won  the Panorama Audience Award at 2014 Berlin International Film Festival as well as the Teddy Award at 2014 Berlin International Film Festival  and in Los Angeles the Grand Jury Award at 2014 Outfest



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