Inside Out 2014: The Circle – Documentary Review

Director: Stefan Haupt
Runtime: 102 minutes
Rating: R

Through the fifties and sixties, Zurich was a haven for people who wanted to lead a gay life style without backlash as severe as other areas of west Europe. The Circle was a publication that specialized in male gay culture, and it had subscribers from all over the world, who not only enjoyed the magazine, but enjoyed balls and events that brought similar people together. After a series of murders caused by male prostitutes brake out, the freedom that The Circle had enjoyed thus far is strictly diminished, and the members of The Circle watch as their friends, and lives crumble in the face of discrimination. The film mixes both recreated historical footage and interviews with the original members of The Circle, as well as others who were part of this historic event.

It is refreshing how well the recreated elements and the documentary elements in this film work together seamlessly, complimenting each other in ways that truly enrich the viewer´s experience. It also serves to reinforce the accuracy and truthfulness in the scripted elements, which with the absence of testimony would probably sound too  sensational to be true. The events depicted in the circle are interesting and inspirational, and they will be sure to please any history buff, especially those interested in queer culture across the ages. Highly recommended for those a tad weary with the documentary medium, as the mix of scripted and real footage makes the work dynamic and vibrant.

Rating: 7 / 10

Screening Time: Thursday May 29, 7:15pm @ TIFF Bell Lightbox Cinema 2