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A Year Without Love
A Year Without Love
Actors: Juan Minujín, Mimí Ardú, Carlos Echevarría, Javier van de Couter, Osmar Núñez
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Gay & Lesbian
R     2006     1hr 35min

The story of pablo a young writer who is looking for the love of his life. He places personal ads cruises the gay scene of buenos aires & falls in with some people who introduce him to the s & m practices and leather fetis...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Juan Minujín, Mimí Ardú, Carlos Echevarría, Javier van de Couter, Osmar Núñez
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Gay & Lesbian
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Gay & Lesbian
Studio: Strand Releasing
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 06/13/2006
Original Release Date: 01/01/2006
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2006
Release Year: 2006
Run Time: 1hr 35min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 4
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: Spanish
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

" I wanted a masculine man to dominate me"
M. J Leonard | Silver Lake, Los Angeles, CA United States | 06/22/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"In A Year Without Love is a gritty, hard-edged movie about desire, illness and longing. Spanish director Anahi Berneri takes us into the leather - fetish - S & M underworld of Buenos Aires - yes, it does exist! And in the process conjures up one man's search for love in a world where it seems as though it's almost impossible to connect.

A Year Without Love is set in 1996, just as the new AIDS cocktails were being released. Unfortunately, the handsome thirty-year-old writer and poet Pablo (Juan Minujin) is suspicious of the drugs that might stave off the AIDS-related illnesses that are slowly killing him. Determined to maintain his health through natural remedies, Pablo embarks on a series of herbal remedies.

In realty, he's racing against time as a crippling illness - in the form of pneumonia - threatens to take hold of him. Living in a state of denial, he lives with his aunt in a rather squalid little apartment and is supported by his father. He meanders through life, disengaged from his sexual partners, his family, his feelings about a former lover and the disease that he suffers from.

By day Pablo teaches French lessons and by night he trolls the streets of Buenos Aires looking for love in porn theatres and sex clubs, sometimes frequenting the local disco with is best friend. He takes out a personal advertisement in the local rag, hoping to connect with a dominant masculine man and eventually ends up joining a private S&M club where he becomes a sort of voyeur, never really participating but never really staying on the sidelines.

The sex scenes actually make up a small portion of the film and ironically serve to highlight the fact that Pablo does find love in the most unusual place. The dark and furtive jump cut editing doesn't hide the fact that these are all scenes of hard-core bondage, whippings, fisting and dungeon play and they are all very graphic, and may be too much for some viewers. Yet these scenes are important because they show how dangerously Pablo is living on the edge and how he is tries to morph this behaviour into the fabric of his everyday life.

The sexy Juan Minujin is really very good as Pablo; his performance is restrained, quiet and he really manages to capture the vulnerable, wasted and desperate look of someone who is living on borrowed time. Frustration, longing and hope are all part of Pablo's daily life, and a fierce sense of defiance at his illness and at his life.

There's a real naturalness to this film, you really believe in Pablo's struggles and that he's living with this disease and the S/M sections of the film are never glamorized or sugarcoated. Dreamlike and judicious, they realistically suggest their meaning to Pablo without being manipulative or gratuitous.

As we leave Pablo, we see that he doesn't always get what he wants; his disease is in remission, yet his search for love is left somewhat ambiguous. He has to fight to stave off pain, loneliness and dependency, and his diary about his life is a testament to this - yet what he ends up with is a type of newfound resiliency and a reinvigorated ability to finally go out there into the world. Mike Leonard June 06.
A Dimly Lit View into the Dark Life of a Dying Poet
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 06/24/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"'Un Ano sin amor' (A Year Without Love) is a brave little Argentine film by young Buenos Aires director Anahi Berneri, a film that takes a different look at people with AIDS in the era of 1996 when the AIDS cocktail was just becoming a beacon of hope suggesting that afflicted people could survive. Though some may avoid the film because of content and the world of Sadomasochism it depicts, this little low budget movie has a lot to say in a very simple fashion and deserves the attention of caring viewers.

Pablo Perez (the very fine actor Juan Minujin) is a young magazine writer/ French teacher/ poet living with AIDS (he has returned form Paris where he had been living with his lover who died of AIDS). Pablo lives with his aunt in a poor apartment supported by his distant father, and while he knows he has a disease that dooms his future, he tries to continue his life day by day with no major plans. He attempts to have a social life by advertising on the Internet for dating, but because he includes the information in his ad that he is HIV positive, he gets negligible response. When his symptoms increase and he is burdened with a constant cough and respiratory problems he visits his doctor who recommends hospitalization. Pablo does not trust the 'new meds' and refuses AZT etc. He walks the streets seeking anonymous encounters with men to satisfy his longing for physical connection and resorts to joining a sadomasochism group where he meets men who are willing to interact only on a physical level. In his loneliness he turns to his friend with the idea of publishing his diary about a man living with AIDS, yet when the book is published the results only serve to alienate his family further and he is left with nothing in a life of loneliness.

Berneri has filmed this story in the gritty reality of the hand held camera and is unafraid to show the dark side of Buenos Aires' underbelly of sadomasochism, yet he retains a degree of allowing us to 'get the idea' without dwelling on any of the activities. Juan Minujin is completely believable as Pablo and the other cast members serve their roles well, allowing us to see the people rather than the behaviors. This may be a tough little film for some but for those who appreciate cinema verite it is a fine work of art. Grady Harp, June 06"
About the dvd
J. A. Torrontegui | Spain | 07/24/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I congratulate the other reviewers (as of now) on their take on the movie.
Technically dvd-wise, if you have a good set and value image quality a lot, you should buy the dvd edition from the UK. On the other hand, that one doesn't include the nice extras the US edition has.