January 2012, berlinale forum

New in Cinemas: "Ausente"

AUSENTE from Marco Berger is starting in selected cinemas on January 12. The film which had its world premiere in the 2011 Berlinale Forum where it received the Teddy award for best feature film 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. 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. 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. (Christoph Terhechte)