Strangely, in the coming days, weeks, and months, this review is going to be as dated as Jesse Edwards’ short film, Distance. This comment is more an observation than a criticism. I’m writing this review in the third week of California’s forced lockdown over the Coronavirus. My feelings about Distance are inevitably going to change over time as we head deeper into and then hopefully out of this pandemic.
Distance takes place during the onset of the Coronavirus hysteria. A father is on the phone hearing the bad news his business is about to go under. All the while, his daughter is coloring on the kitchen table listening to the entire conversation. Soon after, his panicked wife calls to let him know there’s no toilet paper left at the market, and she’s equally upset he hasn’t called his neighbors to ask if they have any surplus TP.
Elsewhere, an older man commiserates with this friend that this may be the end, as the two witness their neighbor in the far distance stocking his garage with toilet paper and gasoline. The older man confesses that he’s alone and not expecting to hear from his estranged son. He walks away, coughing heavily; in just a little moment of foreshadowing.
“…an older man commiserates with this friend that this may be the end…”
Depressed? Scared? Alone? Distance is a short film intended to directly address the current pandemic and the hysteria looming over our communities and our anxiousness within. Spoiler: There’s a feel-good ending.
Honestly, I have mixed feelings at this time about Distance. Being three weeks in on the pandemic, we are firmly accustomed to this new “temporary” lifestyle. The panic and anxiety of three weeks ago, as portrayed in the film, definitely makes the events of the film feel dated, even for those who are optimistic or pessimistic about the ultimate outcome. Also, being this far into the lockdown, no one in the film is wearing gloves and masks…like our current reality.
Film Threat loves indie filmmakers. I appreciate the attempt of writer/director Jesse Edwards to produce a timely story, and the beauty of filmmaking today is not only can Edwards produce a story that’s a few weeks old but also has the means to distribute it.
I admire Distance for being the second of two coronavirus-related narratives to come by the Film Threat virtual offices (see Corona Zombies). On the downside, the tone, in my opinion, is overly bleak as we are well past the events of the story. The upside, though, is Distance has an important, poignant underlying message – we’re not alone. It’s presented in a way that is uplifting and thankfully, not overly sappy. It offers a good idea to follow, as long as you have gloves and a mask.
"…intended to directly address the current pandemic and the hysteria looming over our communities..."