Martin finds a whole series of excuses to subtly invade his sport teacher Sebastian’s privacy, ending up spending a night in his apartment. But when Martin’s intentions dawn on him, the teacher has already been compromised. It takes a tragic accident for Sebastian to become aware of his own feelings for Martin.
Ausente is about the abuse of an adult by a minor, who is fully aware of his teacher’s delicate position and all too willing to exploit it. Marco Berger’s original feature film uses the glances exchanged by his protagonists to tell the story. Martin’s unwavering gaze is contradicted by his apologetic body language, which is nevertheless unable to conceal the fact that he wants to breach taboos and move into new territory. Sebastian’s evasive, worried look, on the other hand, reflects the fact that he does not want to see the game that is being played with him. Even the film’s first scenes at the swimming pool show Martin’s voyeurism, his pleasure in overstepping the line. He looks at himself in the mirror over and over again, affirming himself and consolidating his position. In this way, the film becomes a virtual thriller, aided by an artful soundtrack made up of deliberately emphasized noises and restrained music. –Berlinale
Marco Berger is an Argentinean film director and screenwriter born in 1977.
He studied at the Universidad del Cine in Buenos Aires and made his directorial debut in 2008 with the short films Última voluntad and El reloj. His first feature film was Plan B, which was presented on a number of film festivals (Buenos Aires, Rome, London). But it was with the film Ausent (English title Absent) that he won “Best feature film” for what the judging committee said was “an original screenplay, an innovative aesthetic and a sophisticated approach, which creates dynamism. A unique combination of homoerotic desire, suspense and dramatic tension.”
AUSENTE (ABSENT) é A MALVADA gay. Um filme tão ambíguo quanto o seu titulo. O que começa como um thriller erótico entre um professor assediado sexualmente por um estudante, aos poucos, torna-se uma tragédia shakespeariana com um final inesperado. Um jogo de manipulação que confunde o tema da pedofilia através da inversão de papeis.