The Distances Between - Review

Distance. The clue is in the title of this emotional analysis of modern relationships. This is the topic that young Scot Aimie Willemse has chosen for her emotionally-driven short. The writer/director gets right to the heart of the matter straight away; she is confident and intimate with the topic and this shows in her concise scriptwriting and adept direction of her actors. So often now Filmmakers choose subjects alien to them, and then try to ground them in emotion as an afterthought (Interstellar, I’m looking at you); but fewer and fewer writers are choosing to draw on genuine, raw experience. This is what Willemse has achieved in her short.

Heartfelt, emotionally charged and wrought with genuine tension from the word ’go’; The Distances Between is a character study in the gut-wrenchingly familiar. Willemse is unafraid to allow her script to dwell in silence, as well as in spoken word. She trusts her actors Tim Pollack and Ariene McKenna to portray a subject matter in a frank, disarming manner; while the real star of the show for me – the editing – allows layers of story and sentiment to fall naturally in to the piece like a beautiful onion.

In a very short space of time, Willemse and her troupe make it possible to invest ourselves in the characters and in their situation completely. To come away feeling both emotionally drained and oddly revitalised; finding catharsis in a true understanding of the struggles we’ve all felt in modern relationships.

*Stills from "The Distances Between" world premiere at GSFF

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