Getting intimate with Distance 再见, 在也不见

Love transcends all borders. In this local production led by Golden Horse 2013 Best New Director, Anthony Chen, love is portrayed in three different story settings and discussed among family members, friends and couples.

Assuming the roles of executive producer and writer, Anthony Chen elaborated on the deeper significance of the film title chosen.  再见 (see you again) is commonly used by the Chinese as parting greetings alike Bye. However, it also signifies possible reunion in the future. Yet ironically, the greeting may just mean the opposite: farewell forever. The title was thus translated to Distance which intensified the emotions of two separated apart physically. In the movie, Golden Bell 2012 Best Leading Actor Chen Bolin assumed three lead roles who were reunited with their loved ones but later parted, never to meet again.

Credits: Distance 再见, 在也不见 FB

Among other blockbuster films, this film may not appeal much to the usual crowd of movie-goers. However, the simple storyline is bound to tug at your heartstrings. Perhaps the first story would be something closer to heart: 《背影》 The Son. It depicts the reunion of a pair of father and son separated for years. Years ago, the family was torn apart by circumstances. The father departed and began a new life and family abroad. Once an ignorant son who took his father’s love for granted, the son now traveled far in search for his father. Yet as the familiar face drew nearer in front of him, the son realised that his father could not recognise him. Despite their relationship, the pair has longed drifted apart. Geographical distance is no longer the only thing keeping them away, but remorse, regrets and unfamiliarity. The other two stories, 《湖畔》 The Lake and 《再見》 The Goodbye, would later address friendship and an arising love triangle respectively.

Lead Chen Bolin and local director 陳世杰. Credits: Distance 再见, 在也不见 FB

Each story was uniquely directed by Directors 忻鈺坤 from China, 陳世杰 from Singapore and Sivaroj Kongsakul from Thailand, in order of representative work. Despite the varying portrayal of scenes and directing, the message to be conveyed was clear and thought-provoking. The film also prompts one to probe deeper into the meaning of love and to translate what distance means to oneself. At the end, it would be even more meaningful for one to recall all three stories together and meticulously ponder over the choice of the title Distance 再见, 在也不见. Many other reviews have given similar yet different interpretations. Instead of relying on others’ to comment, Producer Anthony Chen advised for the audience to have different takeaways from the film.

Every level of production, from planning to execution, expresses a unifying theme to be conveyed to the audience. The film is far from Hollywood actions or comedic jokes to liven the atmosphere. Instead, it allows each audience to create a personal space of deep reflections of what love means.

Be sure to catch Distance 再见, 在也不见 in theaters from 2nd June.

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