The Distance Between Us and the Sky Image

The Distance Between Us and the Sky

By Kyle Bain | May 30, 2020

WE ARE ONE: A GLOBAL FILM FESTIVAL REVIEW! I cannot say that I have ever seen a film, short or otherwise, where nothing happened, but an important and necessary story is still told. The Distance Between Us and the Sky presents the audience with very little in terms of film, but so much in the form of allegory and metaphor. The viewers are immediately introduced to the first unnamed character (Ioko Ioannis Kotidis), and it is quickly explained that he, along with the man on a video chat, is sharing a sexual encounter.

While his sexuality is not necessarily important, it does play somewhat of a role for the next seven minutes or so (as it helps to guide the conversation and the story). Kotidis’s character almost immediately encounters another unnamed character (Nikos Zeginolou), and they begin a dialogue. The discussion is simple enough, but the meaning behind that conversation means so much to the world (especially during international pandemics and quarantine). 

Assuming The Distance Between Us and the Sky is meant to reach typical audiences (and is not labeled as porn), nudity often plays a role that helps to propel a story and help to develop characters and their purpose in the film. Weirdly enough, writer-director Vasilis Kekatos uses nudity to do essentially nothing. The depiction of full-frontal male nudity serves absolutely no purpose other than to explain to audiences that Kotidis’ character is gay (which becomes clear as the film continues).

“… he, along with the man on a video chat, is sharing a sexual encounter.”

As Kotidis and Zeginolou’s characters get to know one another for the first time, it’s apparent that they have little in common and express themselves in very different ways. A theme of love emerges over the next few moments, and audiences begin to understand the importance of the meeting between the two characters. Their conversation ends on the topic of origami lovebirds representing much more than just pieces of paper or Japanese culture.

The two tiny paper birds begin to express the duality of life and death, and their existence in the world means as much as true love. There is no proper relationship between the two characters, but love is depicted in the relationship between the two hand-crafted birds. This idea is hammered into the heads of viewers without it becoming too overdramatic, allowing them to mold the themes of The Distance Between Us and the Sky in their minds. 

I am impressed with the storytelling ability of Kekatos but was turned off by the unnecessary parts of the film. With less than eight minutes to provide the audience with a story, providing them with extraneous details seems almost self-destructive. Why provide the audience with any unnecessary information when you have such a remarkable story to tell and not much time to do so? I cannot think of a reason, and feel that these aspects of The Distance Between Us and the Sky are damning. Kekatos is a gifted storyteller, but his need to add extraneous details diminishes parts of the story and leaves audiences somewhat disappointed in the overall product. Absorb Kekatos’s story and attempt to look past the unneeded aspects of the film as the story is essential to life. 

The Distance Between Us and the Sky is the Cannes Film Festival entrant for the We Are One: A Global Film Festival.

The Distance Between Us and the Sky (2019)

Directed and Written: Vailis Kekatos

Starring: Ioko Ioannis Kotidis, Nikos Zeginolou, etc.

Movie score: 7/10

The Distance Between Us and the Sky Image

"…origami lovebirds representing much more than just pieces of paper or Japanese culture."

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