The Witnesses

Metascore
75

Generally favorable reviews - based on 15 Critics What's this?

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6.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 5 Ratings

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  • Summary: Paris, summer 1984. Manu arrives in Paris, where he shares a cheap hotel room with his sister Julie. He strikes up a joyous, chaste friendship with Adrien, a wealthy doctor in his early fifties who opens Manu’s eyes to a different way of life. On a trip out on a speedboat, Adrien introducesParis, summer 1984. Manu arrives in Paris, where he shares a cheap hotel room with his sister Julie. He strikes up a joyous, chaste friendship with Adrien, a wealthy doctor in his early fifties who opens Manu’s eyes to a different way of life. On a trip out on a speedboat, Adrien introduces Manu to Sarah and Mehdi, a young couple who have just had their first child. An unplanned love affair and the onset of the AIDS epidemic - seen by the media and in the collective imagination as a shameful, modern-day plague - upset the ordered tranquility of their individual destinies. Each of them becomes a protagonist in - and witness to - a contemporary tragedy, where those who don’t die may emerge stronger, but not undamaged. (Strand Releasing)
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 15
  2. Negative: 0 out of 15
  1. The Witnesses may be schematic, but it lets each character live and breathe. The film captures a time and place that seems very distant now.
  2. 88
    This is the epidemic from love's point of view, a story as much about how the disease can ravage the heart as it does the body. It is also Téchiné's best film since 1998's superb "Alice et Martin," and 1994's even better "Wild Reeds."
  3. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    88
    Techine's unwillingness to soften his characters reflects a rare honesty about human nature that's rarely seen in movies, particularly movies about fatal illnesses, and his film is an engaging and particularly French character study.
  4. 75
    The Witnesses doesn't pay off with a great operatic pinnacle, but it's better that way. Better to show people we care about facing facts they care desperately about, without the consolation of plot mechanics.
  5. Reviewed by: Deborah Young
    70
    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 memorable film, one of Techine's best, is in no way limited to gay viewers.
  6. Reviewed by: David Wiegand
    50
    A kind of film opera without music.

See all 15 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of
  2. Mixed: 0 out of
  3. Negative: 0 out of

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