A YEAR WITHOUT LOVE/UN ANO SIN AMOR (Anahi Berneri, Argentina). 95 minutes. Subtitled. Sunday (May 21), 9:30 pm. Isabel Bader. Rating: NNNN Rating: NNNN
Based on the candid diaries of co-screenwriter Pablo Pérez , A Year Without Love is an absorbing and hypnotic film about looking for love in mid-1990s Buenos Aires.
Thirty-year-old Pablo ( Juan Minujin ) lives with his mentally unstable aunt in near poverty, and writes cryptic personal ads looking for "a slave or master." By day, the HIV-positive man (his Parisian lover died months earlier) teaches French to neighbouring kids and tries to write poetry. By night, he prowls the city's leather bars and sex cinemas.
Director Anahi Berneri films Pablo's journey through cold hospital rooms and darkly lit dungeons with grainy-textured film that's highly effective. She lingers as significantly on needles and vials of blood as she does on the paraphernalia of SM culture.
What's miraculous is the absence of moral judgment. Pablo's search for good health and a lover is pure and simple. And Minujin, like a Latino Jake Gyllenhaal, has great big puppy-dog eyes that are completely open and trusting. A real find.