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      The Witnesses

      2007 1h 54m Drama List
      86% Tomatometer 50 Reviews 65% Audience Score 1,000+ Ratings Adrien (Michel Blanc) is a middle-aged doctor who's still single and enjoys cruising younger men. One night he's sexually rebuffed by a boy named Manu (Johan Libéreau) but pursues a friendship with him anyway. He takes Manu along on a seaside vacation with his best friend, Sarah (Emmanuelle Béart), and her policeman husband, Mehdi (Sami Bouajila). Shortly thereafter, Manu and Mehdi begin an affair, causing significant tension within the two couples that worsen when Manu is diagnosed with AIDS. Read More Read Less

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      Critics 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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      Critics Reviews

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      Hank Sartin Time Out Rated: 4/5 Nov 18, 2011 Full Review Melissa Anderson Time Out Rated: 3/5 Nov 17, 2011 Full Review David Edelstein New York Magazine/Vulture Excitingly convoluted. Oct 18, 2008 Full Review Yasser Medina Cinefilia 'The Witnesses' is a film executed with some skill by André Téchiné, but I don't see that it has enough narrative force to provoke any kind of emotion in me. [Full review in Spanish] Rated: 6/10 Aug 7, 2020 Full Review David Lamble Bay Area Reporter All this prepares you for a sucker punch of things that do matter... May 22, 2020 Full Review Alexander Ryll Gay Essential Though the specter of HIV/AIDS looms over the second part of the film once Manu is diagnosed, it wisely doesn't take over the latter part of it. Perhaps this is due to the fact that it was a few years before the epidemic first hit France. Sep 15, 2019 Full Review Read all reviews

      Audience Reviews

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      Audience Member Interesting unconventional characters, each struggling with their own discontents, sexuality & relationships set within the context of the aids epidemic hitting France. Cinematography was good, but nothing interesting, good performances, and good overall. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 02/21/23 Full Review Audience Member Heureusement que Bouajila est prà (C)sent, le seul qui joue juste dans ce film... qui a facilement 10 ou 15 ans de retard, sans rien apporter à l'à (C)difice existant sur le sujet Rated 2 out of 5 stars 01/13/23 Full Review Audience Member My complaints about this movie are mostly about the fact that it was drawn out and seemed to have no definite climax, thus leaving me unsatisfied at the end. But even though it seemed lackluster, I thought it was a great story, with spectacular acting and an incredibly realistic plot. The movie serves as the perfect reminder to any promiscuous culture -- regardless of sexual orientation -- that AIDS is as real an issue today as it was in the 80's, when this movie is set. Iffy as a story, but very good as a work of film. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 01/24/23 Full Review Audience Member Its a bit different kind of movie. Same as french culture. Later,one got AIDS. Love is broken, and others just find easier options and life continues and one dies. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 02/13/23 Full Review Audience Member This is an emotional French drama depicting the emergence of the AIDS epidemic in the early 1980s. A young gay man has an affair with a married man but later discovers that he is HIV positive. The film then examines how the people that he is connected to cope with his illness and his death. I definitely found this film worth watching; it is a good character study and explores some interesting issues. I myself was only a young child during the early 1980s, and therefore completely unaware of the social paranoia surrounding AIDS (although it does still exist today), so it was interesting for me to watch this young man's story. I also found it compelling when the young man describes the difficulties in trying to find a partner when you are gay. A few things did let this film down for me: 1) When the young man dies, there does not seem to be much emphasis on the grief of his loved ones. They cope a lot better than I would! I was expecting a little more depth of emotion. I suspect the script is to blame rather than the acting. 2) The ending is an anti-climax. The ending that I had predicted in my mind was actually a lot better! 3) The film feels too long. Parts of it felt a little bit unnecessary for me. However, on the whole, I did enjoy watching this film. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 01/25/23 Full Review Audience Member An unusual but refreshingly straightforward film that sensitively shows how the beginning of the AIDS epidemic affects a group of connected friends. Beautifully filmed, the screenplay keeps things relatively pared back and serves the actors well - the power and intensity comes from the terrific performances instead of artificial melodrama. An intelligent and adult film. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 01/22/23 Full Review Read all reviews
      The Witnesses

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      71% 54% Nathalie... 96% 83% Nelly & Monsieur Arnold 60% 66% Dans Paris 87% 40% Before I Forget 68% 76% Lila Says Discover more movies and TV shows. View More

      Movie Info

      Synopsis Adrien (Michel Blanc) is a middle-aged doctor who's still single and enjoys cruising younger men. One night he's sexually rebuffed by a boy named Manu (Johan Libéreau) but pursues a friendship with him anyway. He takes Manu along on a seaside vacation with his best friend, Sarah (Emmanuelle Béart), and her policeman husband, Mehdi (Sami Bouajila). Shortly thereafter, Manu and Mehdi begin an affair, causing significant tension within the two couples that worsen when Manu is diagnosed with AIDS.
      Director
      André Téchiné
      Producer
      Saïd Ben Saïd
      Screenwriter
      André Téchiné, Laurent Guyot, Viviane Zingg
      Genre
      Drama
      Original Language
      French (Canada)
      Release Date (Streaming)
      Jan 25, 2017
      Box Office (Gross USA)
      $77.3K
      Runtime
      1h 54m
      Sound Mix
      Dolby Digital, DTS
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