At a time when unsafe sex is on the increase, this film marks an AIDS feature with a difference, given it charts the dilemma of Claudio, a handsome HIV+ Italian who has the love of his long-term partner Dario. Yet beneath all the smiles of relationship bliss, lies the reality that ten years of drug therapy and safe sex is taking an emotional toll. Bored by the repetitive routine of work, pill-taking and habitual visits to his doctor, here is a man who yearns for times past; namely nights of passionate unprotected sex.
And as it happens a chance encounter with a cute waiter named Andrea offers Claudio the opportunity to throw condoms to the wind, courtesy of a one-night stand that soon gives way to an affair. By now, you kind of get the feeling that a downward spiral lies just around the cinematic corner and sure enough, it isn't long before Claudio starts to neglect his partner, let alone his family and medication. Yet just when you think all is done for, a series of moral decisions come to haunt Claudio and inparticular if he is truly in love with Andrea or just the condom free sex he has with him?
As a timely wake up call to those who frequent bareback sex, this poignant work from director and co-writer Laura Muscardin dared to raise the issue of unsafe sex and the alarming increase in the practice of such amongst both the gay and straight communities.
Yet this is also a gay love story, or rather a love triangle, one in which Thomas Trabacchi as Claudio, Riccardo Salerno as Andrea and Davide Bechini as Dario play to the full; inparticular Salerno who perfectly captures the emotional intensity of love, one so strong that it overpowers his sense of self-preservation, having sex sans condoms so as not to 'ruin the moment' with the HIV+ man he adores. Only the central theme of the piece overshadows their efforts, given this disturbing feature is dominated by both the medical and personal ramifications of unsafe sex and how in loving someone so much, many it would appear are prepared to put their own life at risk.
screened as part of the 17th London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival 2003
starring: Thomas Trabacchi, Riccardo Salerno, Davide Bechini, Monica Rametta, Riccardo De Filippis, Paola Gassman, Bruna Rossi, Daniela Cerri, Antonella Panetta, Francesco Ricci, Roberta Cartocci