Synopsis by Mark Deming
The early days of the AIDS crisis in France provides the backdrop for this powerful, life-affirming drama from writer and director André Téchiné. It's 1984, and Mehdi (Sami Bouajila) is a police detective who, unbeknownst to his wife Sarah (Emmanuelle Béart), is a bisexual who has occasional trysts with men. Mehdi and Sarah are proud parents of a new baby, but to Mehdi's chagrin, Sarah doesn't seem the least bit concerned about her responsibilities as a mom. Manu (Johan Libereau) is a handsome young man who shares a flat with his sister Julie (Julie Depardieu), who is struggling to make a career as an opera singer. And Adrien (Michel Blanc) is a middle-aged doctor and close friend of Sarah who occasionally picks up younger men in the park, and nearly seduces Manu one evening. Adrien joins Sarah and Mehdi for an idyllic weekend at the beach, where Manu once again crosses his path; however, Manu also meets Mehdi when he saves the detective from drowning, and the two soon become lovers. Several months later, Manu has discovered he's contracted a strange and deadly new disease doctors are calling AIDS, which has a dramatic impact on many of the people he knows. Mehdi has confessed his infidelity to Sarah, and they wait to find out if they also have AIDS, while Adrien is devoting most of his days to treating Manu and other young men who are wasting away under the effects of the illness, and Julie helps to care for her dying brother. The Witnesses (aka Les Témoins) received its premiere at the 2006 Berlin Film Festival.
AIDS, baby, bisexuality