The Witnesses (2007)
Critic Consensus: French director André Téchiné successfully weaves five gripping stories in an engaging and realistic film about the early days of the AIDS epidemic.
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as Baby 1
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Critic Reviews for The Witnesses
Techine's graceful, forceful drama has the tact not to play narrative games with its subject.
André Téchiné's film features a strong ensemble cast. The film pulls no punches in its depiction of lives in crisis.
The Witnesses doesn't pay off with a great operatic pinnacle, but it's better that way. Better to show people we care about facing facts they care desperately about, without the consolation of plot mechanics.
Director Andre Techine's story is one of subtle emotional tones that require the most of an actor, and the cast is uniformly compelling.
Audience Reviews for The Witnesses
Poignant, sensitive drama with well developed characters realistically played by the cast.
Functional but well performed recollection of the AIDS epidemic and its fallout amongst a group of unlikable bourgeoisie.
[font=Century Gothic]In "The Witnesses," it is 1984 and Sarah(Emmanuelle Beart), a children's writer, is married to Mehdi(Sami Bouajila), a macho and ambitious vice cop. Not being able to concentrate with her baby crying all the time, Sarah persuades her husband to take some time off, so they can go to her summer house, inviting her friend and doctor, Adrien(Michel Blanc), who brings along Manu(Johan Libereau), a young man who he met while cruising in the park one night. During that weekend, Mehdi saves Manu from drowning and the two men become friends...[/font]
[font=Century Gothic]It goes without saying that there has been better fiction written about the early days of the AIDS epidemic including "Longtime Companion" and the play, "Angels in America," which were made at the end of the initial crisis, signaling the beginning of the long battle ahead. Coming at least a decade after them, "The Witnesses" is an astute but slightly overlong movie that is a reminder of how far we have come since then, arguing for love and compassion in the process. But what also sets it apart, is its eroticism, not shying away from the sexual side of the equation which even the more chaste characters have no problem with.[/font]
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