Ausente (also known as Absent in English) is movie of tension and lust on full throttle. Set in Argentina the land that gave us tango the dance of passion. Ausente is the kind of film that makes you yearn for that moment of relieve but it never comes. It engulfs you from beginning and holds that tight grip as if someone is squeezing you. The premise of the film is actually quite simple but it’s how Marco Berger tells the story about 16-year-old Martin, a timid yet curious minded schoolboy and his fascination with his swimming instructor Sebastian.
The ripple effect starts when Martin gets some glass in his eye and needs urgent attention. Sebastian drives him to see the optometrist and there he is assured he has nothing to worry about. However, Life becomes complicated when Martin cannot find his friend where he is supposed to be crashing the night. Sebastian is put in a difficult situation when the only right thing to do is offer Martin his couch for the night. After all he couldn’t let the boy sleep on the street.
The night that unfolds is long and filled with libidinous. It’s like when you are in the room, alone, with someone you really desire but you cannot say anything. You cannot do anything. You cannot make a move but it’s the only thing on your mind. It consumes you and it drives you crazy. But you know you are playing with dangerous fire so all you can do is fantasize and hope you don’t explode. Marco füçks the audience’s brain and not gently he goes deep.
From that night on, new truths arise that drives Sebastian to question Martin’s actions and the more Sebastian learns the more enraged he becomes. The movie is a mind füçk, there’s no escaping that. Even the ending while beautiful is just Marco’s icing on the cake as he makes his last blow and finally comes the relief that everyone has been holding their breaths for.
Ausente won the 2011 Teddy Award honoring the best in LGBTIQ film and was recently shown at The Brisbane Queer Film Festival 2012.