Screened as part of NZIFF 2007

The Witnesses 2007

Les témoins

Directed by André Téchiné

A charismatic young man pays a devastating price for the social and sexual freedoms of the 1980s in this rich, entertaining French drama directed by André Téchiné (The Wild Reeds, I Don't Kiss).

France In French with English subtitles
112 minutes 35mm



André Téchiné
Laurent Guyot
Viviane Zingg


Julien Hirsch


Martine Giordano


Philippe Sarde


Michel Blanc
Emmanuelle Béart
Sami Bouajila
Julie Depardieu
Johan Libéreau


Berlin 2007


In the idyllic summer of 1984, charismatic young Manu (Johan Libéreau) joins his doctor friend Adrien (Michel Blanc) and a married couple on a blissful Riviera holiday. The couple – children’s writer Sarah (Emmanuelle Béart) and police detective Mehdi (Sami Bouajila) – are going through a crisis after the birth of their first child and Mehdi is irresistibly drawn towards Manu. Soon after, Manu comes down with a mysterious new disease. André Téchiné’s (The Wild Reeds, I Don’t Kiss) fast-moving, engrossing and entertaining drama revolves around the AIDS crisis of the mid 1980s, but its real theme is love and acceptance. A rich screenplay and bright comedy colours celebrate the spirit of the 80s as a time of great social and sexual freedom, embodied by young Johan Libéreau as the blithe, carefree Manu, whose irrepressible joie de vivre refuses to accept the limitations of monogamy. — Bianca Zander

“The [film’s] powerful storytelling projects the strongly affirmative message that it’s a miracle to be alive and bear witness to those who did not survive.” — Deborah Young, Variety