Opening to a rather explicit sex scene, we are introduced to Alex and Sergi; a Spanish couple living in Barcelona. Continuing from that is a lengthy, yet stunning, 23 minute one-take-shot. During that elusively choreographed sequence they talk, wash and eat as we find out everything we need to know about the couple.
Alex, played by Natalia Tena (Harry Potter’s Tonks), is a photographer who is struggling to find work locally, and her partner, Sergi (David Verdergauer) is a teacher. But there intimate relationship together suddenly gets shaky as Alex is offered a fully-paid working job in Los Angeles for one year… After some discussion, she accepts. However Sergi is unable to join her due to teaching commitments. This is where issues arise.
Now a continent apart (or more specifically 10,000km) their relationship is put to the test. Topical, as long distance relationships do not usually last, yet the characters are aware and highlight the pros and cons.
But the real intelligence of 10,000km comes from director Carlos Marques-Marcet. Absent of any other surroundings, the film is set in just merely two locations in Sergi’s Barcelona flat and Alex’s LA apartment.
Their relationship continues via Skype, WhatsApp and Google Earth. Hindered by technology, they attempt to remain sensitive and in love. But as days pass (chronicled on screen with titles; Day two, Day 88, Day 116 etc), it inevitably becomes difficult to continue. At one point Sergi demands ‘Can we talk about something else that isn’t our relationship?’ – Isolated and gripping, 10,000km studies the bounds of romance like no film before it.
Marques-Marcet’s feature debut film is ambitious as it is ingenious and it thrives on the narrative. Very worthy of the Best Foreign Film at next year’s Academy Awards perhaps?