LFF: ‘10,000km’

Because it’s not just you and them in a relationship anymore – a beautiful and revelatory film revealing technology might just be the real enemy in a couple’s long distance relationship.

It starts with a casual glance at an unknown name on Facebook, an unanswered WhatsApp message, a missed Skype call, a lousy connection… Social media has integrated itself so seamlessly into our daily lives it was only a matter of time before it started to infiltrate our relationships and it is exactly this that Carlos Marques-Marcet has perfectly captured in all its charming and heartbreaking detail in 10,000km.

Our up close and personal introduction to our painfully attractive protagonists, Alex (Natalia Tena) and Sergi (David Verdaguer), one long-shot seamlessly following their love making to their teeth brushing, sets the tone for the intimacy we are permitted from the start to the bitter end. They are trying for a baby, content in their trendy Barcelona apartment – that is until Alex receives an email inviting her for an artistic residency in Los Angeles. From hereon in, just like Alex and Sergi, we live out their relationship through a screen, bestowing our faith in Wi-Fi and Windows to communicate love for the next 365 days.

From Skype tours of apartments to lying dreamily on their sides in front of a laptop, different beds, different time zones, it’s a charming start. Beautifully acted by Tena and Vedaguer, their chemistry, even through a screen, is infectious as we’re treated to online cookery lessons, cross-time zone good mornings and good nights, tours of the neighbourhood on Google Street View and of course the inevitable Skype sex session. Erotic yet simultaneously awkward, it’s in these darker moments we realise that technology might be getting in the way…

A cursor hovers over a male name tagged in a photo with Alex, then quickly closes the window. An email is written and deleted. Then rewritten and deleted. A question mark removed, then added. Who knew syntax was so important? But when your entire dating life exists online, these are the nuances that matter, something that Marques-Marcet expertly demonstrates. Perhaps the most poignant moment, as Alex takes Sergi on a tour of the Street View tour of the deserted Google campus to show the server farms where the digital corporations store all our data – and therefore our digital live. When a relationship exists entirely online, it’s easy to forget the physical still exists somewhere.

As dancing in underwear to The Magnetic Fields transforms into a lonely slow dance holding a laptop, 10,000km is a beautiful and revelatory film for the digital lovers and of course, those that love within the digital age.

10,000km is screening on Thursday 9 October (RichMix), Friday 10 October (BFI Southbank) and Sunday 12 October (Vue West End).

View the full festival programme online: www.bfi.org.uk/lff

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