Shot on 16mm colour film, Distancing documents the logistics and poetics of Miko Revereza’s decision to leave the United States and return to the Philippines. ‘My ticket is one way’, the filmmaker explains to his grandmother as she suddenly realizes he isn’t coming back. Distancing is a film about this personal realization; to leave and thus become exiled from the country where he was raised. The film acts as a memoir and cites a lineage of statelessness in cinema. It is a personal document of the moment anticipating a great departure. —Miko Revereza
Miko Revereza’s new film marks a distinct and pivotal moment in the filmmaker’s life. Distancing can be understood as a split point, the beginning of one chapter and ending of another. After living in the United States as an illegal immigrant since childhood—and constantly navigating the system of precarity, injustice and state-sanctioned violence that this requires—Revereza has decided to return to his native Philippines. Though his films have been critically praised and awarded at major festivals, he has described his project—”the goal of circulating these images at festivals and receiving press about [the situation of illegal immigrants in the United States]”—as “pretty risky”.
Thus, Distancing is an impressionistic collage of just what its title suggests: the artist placing a huge distance between himself and the land that he has known for almost all of his life. It’s a visual notebook of snapshots and fleeting moments, a record of departures. It makes one realize that each moment we are in is the exact moment before the rest of our lives will unfold. —Herb Shellenberger