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Miguel Ángel Cardona’s short film ‘Close Away’ goes places we are always afraid to address – long-distance relationships. We say that because we rarely end up in this situation, and rarely do we see it as it is. Hope is more important than love in this scheme, and when hope is lost, everything falls apart. Javier, played by Jose Torresma, and Laura, played by Yaiza González are far away from each other and try to make it work. Their only chance is through video calls, and when there is no other possibility, they play along as much as they can. Intimacy is not lost, and when Laura comes with the proposal of doing so, Javier accepts. It seems odd at first, and nothing compares to the real face-to-face interaction. As the narrative goes by, we can easily see the struggle they go through. The ending is sad and magical at the same time for the reason that we see that life in all its forms happens right after the call ends.

It is interesting how Cardona’s short has more meaning now than ever. Long-distance relationships have been here for a long time, but normally it is easy to travel to see your loved one. Nowadays, however, this film relates to a time we are all living and enduring. The pandemic transformed even short-distance relationships (living in the same town, for example) into long-distance ones. Everyone watching this short now will feel it more up to date than ever before.

Also, what we really loved about Miguel Ángel Cardona’s short is that he managed to create a story from the whole video call situation. We have seen our fair share of documentaries or experimental videos shot in Zoom conversations, and we must say that they were tough to watch. ‘Close Away’, on the other hand, puts up a story, builds on a relationship, and then, in the end, gives the perfect coup de grâce. From our perspective, ‘Close Away’ is one powerful film dealing with loneliness and alienation, proving once more that it’s not the lack of people that makes you lonely, but the absence of that one person that makes your life worth living.

Written by Vlad A. G

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