Witnesses (2004)

Croatian filmmaker Vinko Bresan directs the political drama Svjedoci (Witnesses), based on the novel Alabaster Sheep by Jurica Pavicic about real-life war crimes committed during the Serbo-Croatian war. The film meditates on the tragedy… More

Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: October 27, 2004
DVD Release Date: January 1, 2005
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Critic Score: 90% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune

Spanning a year beginning in the summer of 1984, The Witnesses offers the considerable satisfaction of a beautifully acted ensemble piece built on the foundation of a serious subject%u2014the dawn of the AIDS crisis%u2014handled just so.

Marta Barber
Miami Herald

More than a thriller, the film is a portrait of the passions that drive ordinary people to kill and even worse, to accept the killing as something honorable.

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Tom Dawson

Bristling with emotional intensity, this is far superior to earlier AIDS-related dramas.

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Dave Calhoun
Time Out

The occasional voiceover from Béart and a slightly mournful score from Philippe Sarde offer some sense of lament, but mostly this unfolds in the moment and is urgent and engaging.

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John A. Nesbit
Old School Reviews

revisits Kurosawa's Rashoman structure

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Ian Johnston
Total Film

A lively, timely flashback to the early days of AIDS with this character-driven drama.

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Wesley Morris
Boston Globe

Witnesses takes us back to the turmoil in the Balkans. But the movie is not directly about the war. It's a cleverly told murder mystery.

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Karl French
Financial Times

An engaging if somewhat inchoate drama set in the early years of Aids.

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Tim Evans
Sky Cinema

Techine never lapses into morbid sentimentality and it's interesting for a film to put the horror of AIDs in the 1980s in the perspective of a viewpoint 20-odd years on.

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More reviews for Witnesses

Flixster Audience Score: 82% Flixster User Reviews
familiar stranger
September 03, 2014 The repetition of certain sequences, although adding to the events every time to unfold the story further, seems a bit odd. The use of… More
Walter M.
"Witnesses" is set in a Croatian town where Josko(Kresimir Mikic), Vojo(Marinko Prga) and Baric(Bojan Navojec) have gone to bury their fallen comrade… More