A teenaged boy named Martin (played by Javier De Pietro) develops an attraction to his teacher and swimming coach, Sebastian (played by Carlos Echavarria). In order to spend more time with him, Martin fakes an injury to his eye and asks Sebastian to take him to the hospital for medical treatment. After they leave the hospital, Martin concocts a story about staying the night at a friend’s house, but he cannot reach his friend to firm up details. Knowing he can’t abandon the young boy, Sebastian calls his girlfriend, Mariana (played by Antonella Costa), and she suggests he take Martin back to his apartment and give him a safe place to stay for the night.
Upon arriving at Sebastian’s apartment, it becomes clear Martin had been weaving an elaborate web of lies just to be with Sebastian. Martin’s parents have been looking for him and did not know he had gone to his teacher’s home for the night. Sebastian begins to realize he’s been ensnared in a trap, with no one aware of where Martin is or why he is staying the night at his teacher’s home. Martin holds all of the power in the situation, capable of making up any sort of lie to ruin Sebastian’s life and career.
“Marco Berger wrote and directed this film about a student who lusts after his sports coach, and goes to great lengths to spend time with him in the hopes that something happens.”
— Super Macey
“Argentinean director Marco Berger follows the sunny-side up subversion of festival favourite Plan B with this utterly unexpected but completely riveting foray into slow–burn, psycho-sexual tensions.”
“It is now possible for gay filmmakers to take a small cast of characters, a small crew, and explore a situation and an idea on film, thus articulating various aspects of gay men’s lives in miniature.”
— Notes On Film
Did You Know?
Sebastian, the swimming coach and teacher in Absent (Ausente) is played by Carlos Echavarria. However, Echavarria was not director Marco Berger’s first choice for the role. Berger had initially envisioned a blond, Adonis sort of figure for the role. Upon hearing of the film casting, Echavarria reached out to Berger and convinced him to let the actor audition. Though his looks are more average, Carlos Echavarria is an established actor who wielded the role masterfully. Berger was convinced at the first take. He discarded his original plans, as he knew Echavarria was the right man for this role. Review our Gay Themed Films Here