IMDb > Circle of Deceit (1981)
Die Fälschung
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Circle of Deceit (1981) More at IMDbPro »Die Fälschung (original title)

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Circle of Deceit -- Set in Beirut during the 1970s Civil War, Bruno Ganz and Hanna Schygulla star in this extraordinary film about how the West in general and journalists in particular confront terrorism in the Middle East. This film has only become more relevant with age.


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Up 24% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Nicolas Born (novel)
Volker Schlöndorff (screenplay) ...
View company contact information for Circle of Deceit on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
15 October 1981 (West Germany) See more »
Laschen, a German journalist, travels to the city of Beirut during the fights between Christians and... See more » | Add synopsis »
1 win & 3 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Circle of Deceit See more (7 total) »


  (in credits order)

Bruno Ganz ... Georg Laschen

Hanna Schygulla ... Ariane Nassar

Jerzy Skolimowski ... Hoffmann

Jean Carmet ... Rudnik
Gila von Weitershausen ... Greta Laschen
Peter Martin Urtel ... Berger (as Martin Urtel)
John Munro ... John
Fouad Naim ... Excellence Joseph
Josette Khalil ... Madame Joseph
Ghassan Mattar ... Ahmed
Sarah Salem ... Sister Brigitte
Rafic Najem ... Taxi
Magnia Fakhoury ... Aicha
Jack Diagilaitas ... Swedish Journalist
Roger Assaf ... Phalangist Officer
Hakmeh Abou Ali ... Woman Hostage
Hassan Husseiny ... Mr. Ghorayeb
Isaaf Husseiny ... Mrs. Ghorayeb
Wassim Soubra ... Phalangist Pianist
Wally Nachaby ... Doctor
Mohamed Kalach ... Palestinian Speaker
Isabella ... Flora
Jeanne ... Telex Girl
Hans Häckermann ... Senior Editor
Hans-Peter Korff ... Editor (as Hans Peter Orff)
Joachim Dietmar Mues ... Editor (as Joachim Dieter Mues)
Wolfgang Kaven ... Editor (as Wolfgang Karven)
Eric Spitella ... Journalist
Bamby Nucho ... Journalist
Peter Kamph ... Journalist
Nick Dobree ... Journalist
Philip Padfield ... Journalist
Rick Panzarella ... Journalist
Toni Maw ... Journalist
Mohamed Chouly ... Money Exchange
Youssef Raad ... Dealer of Arms
Dina Haidar ... Red Dancer
Sousso Abdel Hafiz ... Belly Dancer
Ghassan Fadlallah ... Barman
Imad Hammoudi ... 1st Soldier
Hussein Kaouk ... 2nd Soldier
Wahid Jalal ... Hotel Manager
Licha Mansour ... Hotel Staff
Edwar Merhib ... Hotel Staff
William Ltife ... Hotel Staff
Khairallah Ghazal ... Hotel Staff
Jaques Nassif ... Hotel Staff
Camille Farhat ... Fighter
Moustafa Hamdi ... Fighter
Ali Farhat ... Fighter
Ahmed Zou'Zou ... Fighter (as Ahmed Zou'Zou')
Rafe Abdel Khalek ... Fighter
Walid Barakat ... Fighter
Mohamed Nasser ... Fighter
Hassan Zebib ... Fighter
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Khaled El Sayed ... Progressive Officer (uncredited)

Directed by
Volker Schlöndorff 
Writing credits
Nicolas Born (novel)

Volker Schlöndorff (screenplay) &
Jean-Claude Carrière (screenplay) &
Margarethe von Trotta (screenplay) &
Kai Hermann (screenplay)

Produced by
Anatole Dauman .... co-producer
Eberhard Junkersdorf .... producer
Hans Prescher .... producer: HR
Original Music by
Maurice Jarre 
Cinematography by
Igor Luther 
Film Editing by
Suzanne Baron 
Production Design by
Jacques Bufnoir 
Art Direction by
Alexandre Riachi 
Tannous Zougheib 
Set Decoration by
Jacques Bufnoir 
Bernd Lepel 
Costume Design by
Dagmar Niefind 
Makeup Department
Rino Carboni .... makeup artist
Anni Nöbauer .... makeup artist
Alfredo Tiberi .... makeup artist
Production Management
Richard Bolz .... unit manager
Fayez Hijazi .... unit manager
Edmond Mouawad .... unit manager
Michael Spies .... unit manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Elie Adabachi .... assistant director (as Eli Adabachi)
Jocelyn Saab .... assistant director
Régis Wargnier .... assistant director
Art Department
Franz Bauer .... props
Dieter Bähr .... technician
Luigi De Luca .... technician
Rafic Owwgen .... props
Ali Raad .... technician
Sound Department
Christian Moldt .... sound
Helmut Röttgen .... assistant sound
Christian Schubert .... sound mixer
Special Effects by
Nabil Raad .... special effects
Youssef Raad .... special effects
André Trielli .... special effects
Paul Trielli .... special effects
Camera and Electrical Department
Toni Auracher .... lighting technician
Dieter Bähr .... key grip
Hussein El-Bayed .... lighting technician
Stefano Guidi .... assistant camera
Ali Abdel Hak .... lighting technician
Karl Hoffmann .... lighting technician
Klaus Peter Lübs .... lighting technician
Franz Rath .... second camera
Jürgen Siegl .... lighting technician
Marian Sloboda .... assistant camera
Roland Tallay .... lighting technician
Michael Zens .... focus puller
Costume and Wardrobe Department
May Khouri .... assistant costume designer
Salwa Mattar .... wardrobe
Ingrid Seichter .... wardrobe
Cherine Tannous .... wardrobe
Editorial Department
Marianne Fehrenberg .... assistant editor
Angelika Gruber .... assistant editor
Caroline Meier .... assistant editor
Other crew
Renate Oechsler .... business manager
Kerstin Schwarzburg .... script supervisor

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Die Fälschung" - West Germany (original title)
See more »
108 min
Color (Eastmancolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

This film was part of a cycle of pictures made during the 1980s that featured journalists covering war. The movies include Salvador (1986), Under Fire (1983), Circle of Deceit [Circle of Deceit (1981)], Witness in the War Zone (1987), Cry Freedom (1987), The Killing Fields (1984) and The Year of Living Dangerously (1982).See more »


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6 out of 7 people found the following review useful.
Circle of Deceit, 30 July 2010
Author: random_avenger

A German reporter Georg Laschen (Bruno Ganz) arrives in Beirut, Lebanon with a photographer Hoffmann (Jerzy Skolimowski), aiming to write an article on the inflammatory situation there. The city has more or less been turned into a huge war zone where bombs and gunfire are ever-present especially during the dark hours of the day. Laschen's own personal motives for accepting such a dangerous job are related to his frustration about his troubled marital situation back in Germany; something he tries to overcome by striking up a relationship with Ariane (Hanna Schygulla), a white woman living in Beirut. Despite witnessing many atrocities, or perhaps because of it, Laschen struggles to achieve an understanding of the motives of the warring parties who both claim to fight for peace and freedom and accuse each other of barbaric acts of terror.

The film was shot on location in Beirut which guarantees a very authentic look to the damaged city. Many of the "action" scenes also look very effective and the sense of danger is well created, even though the main focus is given to psychological things like Laschen's attempts to grasp the situation, not thrilling bomb attacks and firefights. Sometimes the pacing feels a little slow, but the acting is good throughout. Especially the brooding Ganz and the pragmatic Skolimowski play well together, bringing life to their very different characters.

The most notable sentiment present in the film is the complete lack of optimism. The war is portrayed as completely inhumane and unheroic waste of life: the photographs and scenes depicting unspeakable mistreatment of civilians stay in the viewer's mind for a long time. The film doesn't offer a hopeful or positive message on either of its two levels, general or personal – no solution for either the war or Laschen's own anxiety seems possible. "Our only real chance to fight the violence is to not let it start in the first place" is the vibe I'm getting out of the film – an effective piece of cinema.

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