Circling The Gays (Film Thoughts: The Circle)

I had no idea what “Der Kreis” (The Circle) was all about when  I put this film on my Netflix queue, except for the fact that it is gay-themed. Well, little did I know that not only would I watch quite a powerful movie, but I would also get a gay history lesson. “The Circle” is a magazine – gay- that was established in the 1930s in Switzerland, and it was the only outlet that homosexuals had during that time. It was also a way for gay men and women to socialize – people who subscribe get invited to the balls, wher ethey would drink, dance, and get to know each other. But this was in the 60s, and gay rights were still a thing of imagination in Switzerland. I mean, who knew? I thought Europe was already more liberal with these things. After a gay closeted composer was killed, police in Zurich had a reason to arrest homosexuals, tying them to rentboys. This movie shows the struggle gay men had to face then. It also tells the love story of Ernst and Robi, who met when they were members of The Circle. The film moves from documentary-style interviews between the two men, and then dramatic re-enactments of what transpired. At first, I was confused, but was quickly swept by their epic story, culminating as the first same-sex married couple when it became legal in 2003. This is truly a powerful piece, and was Switzerland’s entry for Best Foreign Film for the Academy Awards last year. I really do think all the gaylings nowadays should see this so they would be reminded of what the previous generations have to go through so they could enjoy the freedom they have today.

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