DVD The Witnesses (DVD 1202046),
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The Witnesses

  • NR
  • DVD
  • 1 disc
  • Region 1 USA/CA (info)
  • Legendary French film director Andr Tchin goes back to 1980s Paris in the tender, heartbreaking THE WITNESSES. Emmanuelle Beart (8 WOMEN) stars as Sarah, a children's book author who has just had her first child with husband Mehdi (Sami Bouajila), a vice cop. Sarah's doctor and close friend, Adrien (Michel Blanc), has fallen in love with the much younger Manu (Johan Libreau), who enjoys being taken care of by the doctor but prefers a platonic relationship--and instead falls hard for Mehdi. Mehdi and Manu start a torrid sexual affair, but when Manu becomes ill with a mysterious disease, the complex entanglement between the four protagonists--as well as Sandra (Constance Dall), a prostitute who befriends Manu, and Julie (Julie Deaprdieu), Manu's sister who wants to become an opera star--threatens to tear everything apart. Beart is outstanding as Sarah, a strong, independent woman who discovers while writing her first adult novel that she is not cut out to be a mother. Meanwhile, Adrien wants to be more than just a father figure to Manu. Sarah actually wants both she and Mehdi to have lovers, as long as they always come home to each other and don't fall in love with someone else--which becomes more complicated in these changing times. Tchin (CHANGING TIMES, SCENE OF THE CRIME) sets THE WITNESSES at the very beginnings of the AIDS crisis in Paris, examining its effects on love, family, and friendship. The smart script, written with Laurent Guyot and Viviane Zingg, treats the subject with honesty and care. Philippe Sarde's minimalist score enhances the drama; the soundtrack also includes several arias and three songs by French pop duo Les Rita Mitsouko.
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 2724-2

  • Credits
    Johan Libereau, Michel Blanc, Emmanuelle Beart, Sami Bouajila, Julie Depardieu, Constance Doll, Lorenzo Balducci
  • Critic Reviews
    "[A] beautifully acted ensemble film....The film skips ahead with the pace of a light romantic comedy..."
    New York Times

    "[Techine presents] the illness as a harsh light that illuminates their relationships and brings their true natures into relief.'
    Los Angeles Times

    "[An] urgent, compassionate, and ultimately optimistic French drama..." -- Grade: B+
    Entertainment Weekly

    "[Y]ou'll be swept along by Andr Tchin's most affecting emotional maelstrom since, perhaps, WILD REEDS."
    Film Comment

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