André Téchiné, who brought us Wild Reeds (Les Roseaux sauvages), takes us back to 1984. Two men meet in a cruisy area of a park; Manu, the younger man, turns down Adrien, the older man, but then asks him to hold his jacket (so it won't be stolen) while he goes off into the bushes for a bit of group action. Adrien leaves himself completely at Manu's disposal, even after Manu's repeated direct statements that he is not interested in any sort of sexual and/or romantic relationship with someone more than old enough to be his father. Several other characters intertwine through the plot, as HIV arrives to further complicate their lives. The visuals of the film are stunning, with plenty of bare flesh, but the story is also compelling, even if the interconnections of the characters sometimes seem a bit contrived.
The Witnesses (Les Témoins), dir. André Téchiné, 2007 France, 114 min., in French with English subtitles
Technorati tags: The Witnesses, Les Témoins, André Téchiné, AIDS, Frameline, Frameline31, LGBT Film, France