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Les Témoins|The Witnesses

Seraphim in France
By GERALD PEARY  |  February 15, 2008
3.0 3.0 Stars
WITNESSINSIDE
LES TÉMOINS: You could subtitle this one Seraphim in France.

Among an elder generation of French filmmakers, those who paid their dues as critics for Cahiers du Cinéma, André Téchiné is the most prominent in dealing with gay themes, as in Les innocents (1987) and Les roseaux sauvages|Wild Reeds (1994). Les témoins is the absorbing story of Manu (Johan Libéreau), a beautiful young man who, arriving in Paris, wreaks havoc with his sexuality, rejecting the love of Adrien (Michel Blanc), a middle-aged medical doctor, and bringing out of the closet Mehdi (Sami Bouajila), a vice cop with a writer wife (Emmanuelle Béart) and a new baby. The first half of the film is a fairly upbeat exploration of open relations, gay and straight. The second half shuts these down: it’s 1984, an unnamed virus has hit the gay community, and one day lesions appear on Manu’s body. Téchiné brings us back to the dreadful dawn of AIDS. Think of Angels in America — this suddenly sad, chilling film could be subtitled Seraphim in France.
French | 112 minutes | Kendall Square
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  Topics: Reviews , Culture and Lifestyle, GLBT Issues, Special Interest Groups,  More more >
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