A Year Without Love

"Very Good"

A Year Without Love Review


A Year Without Love is not for the squeamish or the conservative. A story about an Argentine writer's attempt to transcend the tragedy of his HIV diagnosis, it goes places that few mainstream films usually venture. If you've ever wondered what's down that dark staircase at your local bondage club, now you'll know.

This is actually an autobiographical story penned by noted author Pablo Perez. Pablo (Juan Minujin) has returned to Buenos Aires from Paris after the death of his lover. Holed up in one miserable room of his senile aunt's apartment, he tutors French students, tries to write, and visits primitive online chat rooms (the year is 1996), looking for companionship. Because he admits to his HIV positive status in his ads, he doesn't get much action.

He rages against his loneliness even as his health deteriorates. He's wracked by respiratory problems but refuses to take AZT, which he thinks will kill him. It's in this fragile state that he hooks up with a scary bondage master called the Sheriff (Osmar Núñez) and his number-one S/M assistant (Javier Van der Couter), and together the three of them begin to explore Buenos Aires's shockingly vibrant leather scene as well as Pablo's own personal pain thresholds. It's to the credit of director Anahi Berneri and his brave star Minujin that these scenes, which could simply end up being pornographic trash, actually carry intense psychological weight. We look into Pablo's eyes and wonder what, exactly, he's looking for in this world. Relief from pain? A new kind of pain? A distraction from the inevitable? A different way to die? We come to see that he what he really gets is companionship, the kind of bond that develops when he trusts his sex partners completely in order to let them do what they do. And in the end, they're actually very nice guys.

Pablo eventually writes of his adventures with both positive and negative results, and in the end he doesn't really solve much. But he does gain a much better sense of himself and finds a way to gain some control of his destiny, while we get the chance to ponder whether some of the twisted deviants among us perhaps aren't as twisted or deviant as we first thought.

Aka Un Año Sin Amor.

And a few hours with a whip or two.



A Year Without Love

Facts and Figures

Run time: 95 mins

In Theaters: Thursday 24th March 2005

Box Office Worldwide: $21.8 thousand

Distributed by: Strand Releasing

Production compaines: BD Cine, Cinema Digital

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 90%
Fresh: 9 Rotten: 1

IMDB: 6.3 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Anahi Berneri

Producer: Daniel Berman, Diego Dubcovsky

Starring: Juan Minujín as Pablo Pérez, Mimí Ardú as Auntie, Carlos Echevarría as Nicolás, Javier van de Couter as Martín, Osmar Núñez as Báez, Ricardo Merkin as Padre, Carlos Portaluppi as Editor, Bárbara Lombardo as Julia, Ricardo Moriello as Juan, Daniel Cargieman as Hombre Casado, Juan Carlos Ricci as Dr. Rizzo

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