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Der Kreis (2014)

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Zurich, 1956. The young teacher Ernst Ostertag falls head over heels in love with the transvestite star Robi Rapp and finds himself torn between his bourgeois existence and his commitment ... See full summary »


Stefan Haupt


Stefan Haupt (screenplay), Christian Felix (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
11 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Matthias Hungerbühler Matthias Hungerbühler ... Ernst Ostertag
Peter Jecklin Peter Jecklin ... Principal Dr. Max Sieber
Marie Leuenberger ... Fräulein Gabi Gerster
Stefan Witschi Stefan Witschi ... Rolf
Claudio Schenardi Claudio Schenardi ... Fredi
Anatole Taubman ... Felix Schupp
Sven Schelker ... Röbi Rapp
Ingo Ospelt ... Emil Lutz
Antoine Monot Jr. ... Gian
Matthias Meier Matthias Meier ... Jean-Martin
Harriet Hasse Harriet Hasse ... Frau Tobler
Kenneth Huber Kenneth Huber ... Waitress
Christoph Keller Christoph Keller ... Rent Boy
Stefano Wenk Stefano Wenk ... Barber Andre
Maja Stolle ... Sue the Barmaid


Zurich, 1956. The young teacher Ernst Ostertag falls head over heels in love with the transvestite star Robi Rapp and finds himself torn between his bourgeois existence and his commitment to homosexuality. Ernst becomes a member of the gay organization DER KREIS and lives through the high point and the eventual decline of the organization, which in the whole of Europe is seen as the pioneer of gay emancipation. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Love ain't a crime.


Not Rated | See all certifications »


Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site




Swiss German | German | French

Release Date:

23 October 2014 (Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

The Circle See more »

Filming Locations:

Zurich, Switzerland See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Official submission of Switzerland to the best foreign language film category of the 87th Academy Awards 2015. See more »


References Das Menschlein Matthias (1941) See more »


Ich weiß nicht, zu wem ich gehöre
Music by Friedrich Hollaender (as Friedrich Holländer)
Lyrics by Friedrich Hollaender (as Friedrich Holländer) and Robert Liebmann
Performed by Sven Schelker (uncredited)
See more »

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User Reviews

Fantastic true story of homosexual love in fifties Switzerland.
25 January 2015 | by t-dooley-69-386916See all my reviews

This is a mix of documentary interviews and recreation of the lives of two gay men growing up in 1950's Switzerland and the magazine that brought them together. Ernst is a mild mannered teacher and he hears of an organisation that is a support structure for people like him – 'confirmed bachelors'. This is Der Kreis or The Circle – it was a publication made in Zurich and had readers worldwide. Ernst meets an enigmatic drag queen in Robi Rapp and falls for him completely.

Despite their and the editors efforts to keep on the right side of the Swiss law, things start to unravel after the murder of a closeted musician and then the spotlight is thrown onto the underworld gay scene. The spotlight and media attention paint a world populated by degenerates out to undermine the fabric of society and nothing will be the same again.

This is told with actors recreating the pivotal scenes and then with modern day interviews with Ernst and Robi. All of the actors are superb but Sven Schelker playing Robi is just wonderful. It would be easy to glamorise this by saying it is a story of sex, intrigue and murder and to a large extent that would be true. However, at its core it is a story of love, companionship and living a lie in a world fearful of what it has never tried to understand. Watch the run off credits too for some great photographs – this is a must for anyone interested in gay history. In German and a run time of 102 minutes – this is a simply brilliant film.

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