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No Distinction In You And Me

average rating is 4 out of 5


William Hemingway


Posted on:

Oct 21, 2023

Film Reviews
No Distinction In You And Me
Directed by:
Roman and Florian de Rijk
Written by:
Roman and Florian de Rijk
Madelon Schoenmaker, Anwar Lachman

Just to avoid any confusion or conflation with current events it’s probably best to say from the start that short film, No Distinction In You And Me from Dutch brothers and co-filmmakers, Roman and Florian de Rijk was shot in 2017 and completed in 2020. The fact that the film has suddenly become a whole lot more relevant, as well as seemingly prescient, will hopefully allow it to now reach a far larger audience and take with it its positive message of humanity, acceptance and understanding to the wider world.


Beginning with a short poem and a long title inspired by the words of Rumi, No Distinction In You And Me is selling us on the idea that we are all the same, that there is no difference in our ethereal identity, and any pain done unto others is merely pain done unto ourselves. The illustration of this presented by the de Rijk brothers is that of a war zone, of rubble strewn rooms and blasted in windows. An unnamed female soldier enters the scene clad in bomb-proof gear which bears no insignia, symbol or flag. She surveys the devastation and loses herself to thought, arranging fallen shards of glass into memories, believing herself to be alone until a Muslim man emerges from the surrounding debris.


The man only wishes to lay out his mat and pray but he is immediately met with distrust, hostility and a gun in his face. There are obvious parallels to be made with what is happening in the world right now, but it was a smart decision from the filmmakers to keep the allegiances of the soldier nameless, so that any false parallels could not be drawn to serve one cause or another. It is the overarching idea of No Distinction In You And Me that unity should conquer all and the feeling of the whole production is geared towards bringing this across to the audience.


A beautiful score from Xander Slikker and violinist Kirsten Timmerman guides us through the tragedy towards hope and humanity with its light and beautiful tones, while the photography from Ruben de Boer keeps things personal and real up front yet expansive and ethereal outwith the scene. The silent performances from Madelon Schoenmaker and Anwar Lachman are understated yet powerful and everything is brought together solidly by the de Rijk brothers, who seem to have achieved what they set out to create.


At only six-minutes long, No Distinction In You And Me is a glimmer of light in a chasm of darkness. Its themes, ethos and energy revolve around a desire for togetherness and it looks to share a commonality of all peoples with its audience. With all that’s taking place in the world at the moment it’s nice to hear a voice of hope and unity, one which isn’t preachy or judgemental, but which treats its audience with the same care and attention as it gives to its themes and its characters.

About the Film Critic
William Hemingway
William Hemingway
Short Film, Digital / DVD Release, World Cinema
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