Remember all those other times I keep bringing up darkness induced audience apathy to discuss how too clinically depressing a movie becomes? Well, after watching “Two Distant Strangers”, I think I have a better understanding as to what that actually means now. This is only a short film that lasts a piddly ass thirty minutes (the shortest film I’ve seen this year) but it feels like the longest thirty minutes I’ve ever had to endure in my life because gripes on a cracker, it felt as if I couldn’t breathe myself.
It’s a testament to how successfully Hollywood keeps exploiting our pain and suffering every waking moment and how well etched they’ve ironed out our drama and the bullshit we sometimes have to go through.....but I don’t think this was necessary. With all these constant news reports about police abusing their power and killing black and brown people without suffering any fucking consequences, these types of movies start to feel less informative on any conversations about racism and policing and more triggering and exploitative just for the sake of it. Yes, the director and writer of this movie went through this exact situation once that caused him to write all this down but that’s just how it resonates back to me.
But regardless, yes, I can comfortably recommend this? It is shot and edited very competently, the performances were enjoyable and even surprising in some areas, lack of production design is actually compatible with the claustrophobic tension the tone sets very only on and I absolutely love how they took a very real, very common, very dirty situation and exaggerated the multiple outcomes of it with a groundhog day time loop paradigm that, similar to Palm Springs, gives us an indefinite look at the dire straits of a seemingly normal situation when forced to live through it multiple times. But it doesn’t help the fact that even with all this, I still feel as if this could’ve been done a LOT BETTER.
American policing was born out of a system that was established to protect the tenets of white supremacy and control the movements and aspirations of Black and brown communities that have and will continue to threaten that status quo. It doesn’t matter if we reform the entire justice system or tear it up from the roots so we can start again; until we hire a gifted proctologist to yank our heads out our asses and admit this is a problem, this cycle is just going to keep escalating until the end of time.