James Marsh's films such as Project Nim); at other times -- as in Holocaust-themed docs like Orchestra of Exiles or No Place on Earth -- these can seem more than a bit ham-handed and distracting. The new Swiss movie THE CIRCLE (Der Kreis) manages to bypass this problem entirely by embracing it completely: Stefan Haupt's new film is half documentary and half narrative, with the two beautifully woven together to make something that seems original and exactly correct for the subject it tackles.
Ernst Ostertag and Robi Rapp These two, lovers still, are shown as they are today (two photos below), while two attractive and talented actors -- Matthias Hungerbühler (at left, on the poster above and in the still below) and newcomer Sven Schelker (at right, above and below) -- play their younger selves in the narrative portion, which takes up more than half of this 102-minute movie.
Marianne Sägebrecht (below, right, of Bagdad Cafe), here playing Robi's wonderfully caring mother.
Wolfe Releasing, opens this Friday in New York City at the Quad Cinema; it will hit L.A. a month later on Friday, December 18, at Laemmle's Music Hall 3.