An intriguing combination of drama and documentary, this Swiss film tells a simple story that's compelling and still timely, addressing issues of equality and prejudice from an often startlingly personal perspective. Although since both the reality and dramatisations are so intriguing, they sometimes seem to interrupt each other, undermining a strong emotional punch that's clearly in there somewhere.
In present-day Zurich, Ernst Ostertag and Robi Rapp are pensioners reminiscing about their past. Cut to 1956 when Switzerland was the most open-minded country in Europe and schoolteacher Ernst (Matthias Hungerbuhler) joins The Circle, a secret society of homosexuals united by lively parties and a magazine that's widely distributed around the world. When Ernst meets the flamboyant cross-dressing entertainer Robi (Sven Schelker), he's instantly smitten. But their free-spirited life becomes increasingly strained when the police crack down on the gay subculture, paranoid about a series of rentboy murders around the city. And if the police commissioner (Markus Merz) succeeds in getting The Circle's organiser (Stefan Witschi) to release his mailing list, a lot of men will find their jobs and families under threat.
The two aspects of this film are both cleverly assembled, as Ernst and Robi narrate their own story and add telling observations to every event. This gives the dramatic recreations a spark of honesty that echoes in the earthy, natural performances by the actors. Hungerbuhler and Schelker make an offbeat couple, contrasting strongly both physically and emotionally. Robi feels that all of his life is unified, bringing his mother (the wonderful Sagebrecht) and Ernst together as his family. But Ernst wants to keep his harshly religious family very separate from his life with Robi.
Continue reading: The Circle Review
After their men sneak off in the night to join the resistance, farm wives Sarah (Riseborough) and Maggie (Morgan) are left to do the work themselves. Soon a group of German soldiers arrives, led by Captain Albrecht (Wlaschiha), who takes an odd approach to his role as an occupying force. He decides to hide from the Gestapo in this valley, hopefully riding out the war while keeping his young officers (Ianevski, Doestch and Taubman) from battle. He also develops an uneasy friendship with Sarah.
Continue reading: Resistance Review
Anatole Taubman and James Bond - Anatole Taubman and guest London, England - The World premiere of the new James Bond movie 'Quantum of Solace' held at the Odeon Cinema, Leicester Square - Arrivals Wednesday 29th October 2008
Anatole Taubman and James Bond - Anatole Taubman (r) and guest London, England - The World premiere of the new James Bond movie 'Quantum of Solace' held at the Odeon Cinema, Leicester Square - Arrivals Wednesday 29th October 2008
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