Saturday, June 18, 2005

A Year Without Love / Un Año sin Amor

First a caveat about this film. It deals directly and honestly with the leather/sadomasochistic subculture, including scenes of SM and bondage play. However, a gentle reminder: those scenes are a small part of the total running time, and you don't have to watch every frame of the film. For instance, there's a scene of the main character's having blood drawn for medical tests. Apparently, something about the image is funny, because most of the audience laughed; I don't know the details, because I close my eyes whenever a needle breaks skin. Even when I go to my HMO, I tell the phlebotomist that the deal is, "You don't make me watch, I don't scream and faint." Go ahead, call me a sissy, I dare you, because that is also the only scene in this film that made me flinch.

Pablo is an HIV-positive writer in Buenos Aires in 1996. He is lonely, so he places a personal ad looking for someone "to take me as slave or master." The film chronicles a year of his life, including doctor visits, dealing with his relatives, dealing with his sexual partners, and looking for true love. It's worth seeing, even if you look away from the "dungeon" scenes.

UN AÑO SIN AMOR (A YEAR WITHOUT LOVE), dir. Anahí Berneri, 2004 Argentina, 95 min. 35mm, in Spanish with English subtitles, distribution by Strand Releasing.

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