EIFF 2021: Bridging the Gap – Mobile

Five new Bridging the Gap documentary shorts on the theme of 'mobile' premiered at Edinburgh International Film Festival. We found a programme delving into change and longing – emotions we can all relate to this year

Feature by Sungleen Moon | 02 Sep 2021
  • Run with Her

COVID has significantly limited our movements and narrowed our lives to an extent, showing us how much we took mobility for granted. This year, as part of the Scottish Documentary Institute’s Bridging the Gap series, five Scottish and Northern Irish directors have creatively explored the theme ‘Mobile’ and its significance to many lives.

Mobility acts as solace for two teenagers in the coming-of-age style shorts: Run With Her, directed by Lia Campbell, and West Country, directed by Rowan Ings. Whether that is endurance running in Campbell’s film, or conducting daily jobs at the farm in Ings’, both doc's protagonists are accustomed to their routine lives. However, they loom on the possibility of change as they ponder the future. Will their lives continue to have the same rhythmic motion as they mature?

Location, time, and memory are barriers to mobility in Laura Wadha’s Born in Damascus. As Wadha reconnects with her cousin after ten years, they realise their memories of Syria and of each other are immobile. Wadha highlights the lost recollections of migrants and refugees who have been forced to move, yet their heart and memories remain at home. Similarly, Daniel Cook’s The Bayview features migrant fishermen in the North East of Scotland longing for home. Cook encapsulates moments where the arduously-worked and underpaid fishermen arein respite, a short pause in their mobile lives.

In Steven Fraser’s colourful Prosopagnosia, the contents of a memory box – drawings, photographs, diaries – are constantly mobile. The stop-motion medium allows Fraser to reveal what face-blindness is like to unfamiliar audiences. As the snapshots of faces move, transform, and alter, so do Fraser’s own memories. For Fraser, his neurodiverse behaviour affects his mobility, and the people and places he encounters.

The Mobile collection ultimately delves into an intimate view of change and longing, which are some things we ourselves can desperately relate to after COVID.

Bridging the Gap: Mobile was part of Edinburgh International Film Festival shorts programme

Sungleen Moon is a 19-year-old student by day and a film fanatic who loves to write by night! She was part of Edinburgh International Film Festival's Young Critics Programme 2021. For more on EIFF's Young Critics Programme, click here

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