In the 1950s there was a Friday night Lufthansa flight from Frankfurt to Zürich nicknamed the Queen Express – since most of its passengers were gay men heading to Switzerland where homosexuality was not a crime. Part doc, part drama, director Stefan Haupt’s film throws us into the world of ‘The Circle’ – a gay magazine and club that made Zürich swing ten years before London.
At the heart of his gentle, touching film is a love story between two men now well into their eighties and happily married. Röbi and Ernst met at a Circle ball in 1956. Ernst was a shy teacher and Röbi an 18- year-old drag act and Greta Garbo-like beauty. In an interview, Ernst and Röbi (sweetly bickering about dates and the order of events) tell us about their relationship and The Circle, while actors recreate their story.
In the mid 1950s, when a serial killer targeted the gay community in Zürich, the newspapers and police used it as an excuse to go on the attack. It’s not exactly Oscar-worthy drama, but you’ll feel the injustice of people forced to hide their true selves, living with shame and the fear of blackmail.