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The Independent Critic

Arlene McKenna, Tim Pollack
Aimie Willemse
4 Mins.

 "The Distances Between" Explores Long-Distance Relationships 
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Writer/Director Aimie Willemse's The Distances Between is a raw, intimate portrayal of a long-distance relationship between Sophie (Arlene McKenna) and James (Tim Pollack) and the growing distance between the two that may not necessarily be bridged by a closer proximity. 

Filmed in Scotland, The Distances Between carries throughout its right around four-minute running time a sense of resignation, the kind of resignation that anyone who has ever struggled with the challenges of a long-distance relationship will recognize as you try to squeeze in good time, real time, honest time and more while packing in all the emotional spectrum of a relationship within the short span of a day or a getaway weekend or whatever time one can find to bridge the distance. 

Arlene McKenna is Sophie, who seemingly longs for that closer proximity and more frequent face-to-face time, a longing that may or may not be shared by James, whose emotional distance is palpable and, perhaps, not a distance that can be easily traveled. The two have a casual intimacy with one another, yet it's a fairly uncomfortable one and we, the viewers, are left unsure if this is a relationship meant for more than it already is. 

Painful, indeed. 

McKenna's performance is quiet and vulnerable, while Pollack's is one of distance and defensiveness. The words between the two say the right things, but their bodies and their faces tell the real story that is unfolding. 

Josh James Shrouder's original music pulsates along with the film's emotions, though I found it a tad loud at times and dominating of the film's otherwise stark intimacy. Sefa Ucbas's lensing gives the film a melancholy aura that seems to bathe the words in a hanging sadness. 

The Distances Between tells the story quickly and wisely leaves us to imagine where Sophie and James will go from here, a question that seems obviously answered yet with the same uncertainty that exists throughout the film. 

For more information on The Distances Between, visit the film's Facebook page linked to in the credits and watch for it at a festival near you. 

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic