On a recent trip to Blockbuster, what to my wandering eyes should appear but the image of a man wearing a collar bearing his back with his arms extended over his head. And here's the blurb on the back...
Pablo is a young writer. The process of writing his personal diary helps him ease the emotional aspects of his malaise in the search for the love of his life. He places personal ads in magazines, cruises the gay scene in Buenos Aires, and falls in wiith some people who introduce him to sadomasochistic sexual practies and leather fetishism. By exploring the relationship between pain and desire, he finds a way to eroticiize his pain and tame the monster lurking within him
Sounds good so far, right?
And it was good. Although it's less about SM than one is lead to expect. Although I suppose that it's the SM aspect that most lends itself to sensationalization. Pablo--who is a total hottie--spends a lot more time talking to his doctors about starting HIV medication than he does getting whipped.
That said, there are some really lovely aspects to the movie. It's presented with subtitles, and even though my Spanish isn't very good, and I don't have an ear at all for South American Spanish, I was struck with how well the language lent itself to SM. A Top, whom Pablo addresses as "Señor," calls him "Pablito," the diminutive for his name. I thought that was beautiful because it's the same name his father calls him. As far as I know, most Spanish names have diminutives, and those, I suppose, would be preferred forms of address for a submissive.
It's simultaneously humiliating and tender.
And at one point, Pablo is addressed as "esclavito," or "my little slave." I love "esclavito." That's even better.
Anyway, on balance, I would recommend A Year Without Love. Although if it had come with a happy ending, I would be saying that with more enthusiasm.