6.9/10
2,136
15 user 49 critic

The Witnesses (2007)

Les témoins (original title)
Paris, 1984: A group of friends contend with the first outbreak of the AIDS epidemic.

Director:

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(scenario, adaptation and dialogue), (scenario, adaptation and dialogue) | 3 more credits »

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2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Michel Blanc ...
Adrien
...
Sarah
...
Mehdi
...
Julie
Johan Libéreau ...
Manu
Constance Dollé ...
Sandra
...
Steve
Alain Cauchi ...
Sheriff
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
David Barbas ...
Medhi's colleague
...
L'éditeur
Raphaëline Goupilleau ...
La mère de Julie et Manu
...
Le patron de l'hôtel
Maïa Simon ...
La mère de Sarah
Bertrand Soulier ...
Doctor #1
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Storyline

June 1984 to June 1985, from happy days to war to summer's return. A middle-aged doctor in Paris, Adrien, meets Manu, a young gay man from the provinces who lives with his sister, an opera singer. Adrien likes Manu, loves him even, in a Platonic relationship. Sarah, a writer, and Mehdi, a vice-squad cop, have an infant. Sarah discovers she has no taste for parenthood. Adrien bring Manu to Sarah's country cabin where Mehdi saves Manu from drowning. Back in Paris, an affair begins as a plague descends on Parisian gays. There are tests, illness, anger, relief, separations, and death. A year later, these friends meet again at the summer place. They are witnesses to how happiness has changed. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

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Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

7 March 2007 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Los testigos  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$14,800 (USA) (1 February 2008)

Gross:

$77,300 (USA) (16 May 2008)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

(At around 20 min.) In Manu's trailer, Adrien has a glass that seems to be half full of red wine, with the bottle apparently about 1/3 full of red wine next to him. When he pours himself a refill, what comes out is clearly water. See more »

Connections

References The Trouble with Harry (1955) See more »

Soundtracks

Qual favellar? ... Abderò, volerò, griderò
(from opera "L'Orlando finto pazzo" Act 3)
Performed by Cecilia Bartoli and Il Giardino Armonico
Conducted by Giovanni Antonini (as Antonio GIOVANNI)
Music by Antonio Vivaldi (as A. Vivaldi)
© DP
(p) 1999 DECCA Records Company Ltd (Universal Classics)
Avec l'aimable autorisation de UNIVERSAL MUSIC PROJETS SPECIAUX
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User Reviews

 
Casting agents in effect
25 August 2007 | by See all my reviews

Overall, this movie was OK. The male lead actors all were very good and believable in their parts. The homosexuality was presented in a natural, matter-of-fact manner, instead of pedantic or problematic. The way the start of the aids era was captured was disturbing, but it seemed very realistic. There were some things in this movie that annoyed me however. First of all, the female characters. Depardieu is your typical withdrawn, a-sexual, artistic, female French cinema archetype. I can live with that though. Far more irritating was the presence of Beart, who was totally miscast. What is a blown-up plastic Barbie doll doing in a movie that is situated in the early eighties, when plastic surgery was not even properly born yet?? Her acting is (partly due to her renovated face) very flat and expressionless and it would have been better if she had been altogether left out. An other revealing mistake is the American guy/gay, who shows up in the last part of the movie; quite confusing when a character who is so proud of his multi-lingual talents has such a strong foreign accent when he speaks his mother tongue...


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