Zürich in the mid 50’s: The young shy teacher Ernst Ostertag (Matthias Hungerbühler) becomes a member of the gay organization DER KREIS (The Circle) whose publication unites the fragile yet vibrant post World War II gay community in Switzerland. There he gets to know cabaret singer and female impersonator Röbi Rapp (Sven Schelker) and immediately falls head over heels in love with him. Ernst finds himself torn between his bourgeois existence and acceptance of his homosexuality, for Röbi it is about his first serious love relationship. A relationship which proves to last a lifetime.
THE CIRCLE features a unique blend of narrative and documentary formats with the modern day protagonists commenting on the scripted sequences of the film. The film deftly charts the increasing repression against homosexuals in Zurich as the two young and very different men fight for their love and together with their friends for the rights of gays. Fittingly, in 2003, Ernst and Röbi made history when, both 73 years old at the time, they became the first legally married same-sex couple in Switzerland.