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Absent (2011)

Ausente (original title)
Unrated | | Drama, Thriller | 11 August 2011 (Argentina)
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Martin, a young Argentine student, is exploring the reactions of his sports coach, Sebastian, while vying for his love and affection. He has an opportunity - one night to push the envelope ... See full summary »

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2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Carlos Echevarría ...
Sebastián
Javier De Pietro ...
Martín
...
Mariana
Alejandro Barbero ...
Juan Pablo
Rocío Pavón ...
Analía
Luis Mango ...
Médico Pileto
Lautaro Machaca ...
Alumno 1
Joan Alsina ...
Alumno 2
Nicolás Fernández Rubio ...
Profesor de Natación
Laura Dozo ...
Oftalmóloga (as Laura Dozzo)
Alejandra Lang ...
Vecina
Fabio Cendra ...
Portero
Dolores Cano ...
Preofesoro 1
Constanza Boquet ...
Profesoro 2
Liliana Popovich ...
Rectora
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Storyline

Martin, a young Argentine student, is exploring the reactions of his sports coach, Sebastian, while vying for his love and affection. He has an opportunity - one night to push the envelope and be as close as ever to reaching what he so desperately wants. With his teacher keeping him off at a distance, but at the same time being so kind and nurturing, Martin continues to inch further and further towards crossing the line. But, with all the twists and turns of love, life, and personas, Martin finds himself on the wrong side of the line, and Sebastian finds himself with more regret than Martin could have ever imagined. Written by Zachary M.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

11 August 2011 (Argentina)  »

Also Known As:

Absent  »

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1.85 : 1
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User Reviews

 
The vagaries of love: life and expectations and consequences
7 October 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Argentinean writer/director Marco Berger has created one of the more subtle, quiet, and genuine examinations of infatuation and love on film. He enters the realm of forbidden fruit - 'pedophilia' - reverses the roles, and in doing so shares with his viewers the psychology of human attraction and the manner in which society views, condemns, copes, or embraces the overall spectrum of love. This is a deeply touching eloquent film that places Berger in the echelon of the best of sensitive filmmakers. It is an incredibly sexy drama of repressed passion, guilt and regret.

Martin (Javier De Pietro), a 16-year-old Argentine student, is exploring the reactions of his swimming coach, Sebastián (Carlos Echevarría), while vying for his love and affection. One day he fakes of an eye injury in the class, and Sebastian takes him to the hospital. Martin has already planned in his mind a web of lies for why he cannot go back home and finally succeeds in getting an invitation from Sebastian to sleep at his house. It s a night of quiet tension: Martin longs for physical contact with Sebastián while Sebastián keeps him off at a distance, but at the same time is very kind and nurturing. Martin is considerate and respectful, and although he manipulates situations in an attempt to get closer to Sebastián, he never threatens, never behaves any more irresponsibly than any teenage boy would and a lot more responsibly than most. Martin continues to inch further and further towards crossing the line. Sebastian the next day finds out that Martin's parents were looking for him all night. He also finds a note in his car from Martin apologizing for telling him the lies. When Sebastian confronts him, he very openly tells him that he was hoping something would happen between them that night. This infuriates Sebastian and he hits Martin. Afterwards things are not same. Now Sebastian is having weird feelings and he cannot even concentrate on his girlfriend. He keeps thinking of Martin. Martin meanwhile stops coming to swimming class and is spending more time with his friends. Sebastian must deal with his emotions. He recalls how maybe on some occasions he might have possibly given the boy some hints and starts questioning his own feelings for the boy. Guilt struck, he is now hoping that somehow Martin will forgive him for what he did. The closing scene is profoundly moving.

The film has little dialogue, a lot of silence described by the impeccable cinematography of Tomas Perez Silva and enhanced by the musical score by Pedro Irusta. One of the reasons the film works so well is the fine acting by Carlos Echevarria and Javier De Pietro along with a supporting cast in small but character defining roles. But the major reason for the film's success is Marco Berger's intelligent, sensitive, and brave decision to make a film about a subject that could have been taboo and instead turn it in to a universal examination of the many permutations of love.

Grady Harp


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