The Witnesses

Released 2007


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Movie Summary

Andre Techine
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The Witnesses is a 2007 French drama from director Andre Techine. A middle-aged doctor who lives in Paris, Adrien (Michel Blanc), occasionally picks up young men in order to seduce them. He meets a young man named Manu (Johan Libereau) and strikes up a friendship but does not seduce him. Manu lives with his sister, Julia (Julie Depardieu), who is trying to become a successful opera singer. Adrien joins his friends, Sarah (Emmanuelle Beart), who is a writer that just had a baby with her husband, Mehdi (Sami Bouajila), a vice-squad cop, for a weekend at their beach house and runs into Manu again. Manu saves Mehdi from a drowning accident and the two become lovers. When Manu discovers he has a strange new disease, it forces Mehdi to confess his affair with Manu to Sarah. The two face a harrowing time as they wait to find out if Mehdi has contracted AIDS. In the meantime, Julie cares for her brother who is dying of the disease. Manu, Mehdi, Sarah, Adrian and Julie face the onset of the AIDS epidemic that changed the lives of many people.moreless


Metacritic Score

  • 80

    The New York Times Stephen Holden

    The Witnesses may frustrate those who prefer movies that tell clear-cut stories in which hard lessons are learned. But in the director's farsighted vision of life, the ground under...

  • 70

    Los Angeles Times Carina Chocano

    The tone of The Witnesses is one of randomness. This makes for an ambling narrative, but an atmospheric one that feels authentic despite its unlikely character pairings.

  • 70

    Variety Deborah Young

    Despite its grim subject, the powerful storytelling projects the strongly affirmative message that it's a miracle to be alive and bear witness to those who did not survive. This me...

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Foreign Language