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creative documentary          

Distant Water

8 min. I Italy 2017

          Time flows like water, and with it memory: you cannot hold onto it, it moves in unpredictable ways and slips through your fingers. But sometimes time, like water, might leave a trace in its path.

Gisa and Gino have lived their whole lives in the small Italian village of Cleto. Now half abandoned, this ancient town stands as a sign of another time, with its porous stonewalls crumbling like old, dry skin. Among these majestic walls, Gina and Giso go about living their lives as always – they, too, are bricks in the game of time where no one and nothing is left unaffected.

Through its connection to the water, the southern Italian region of Calabria bears witness to its own past: forged into the very rock that holds the entire village of Cleto, the sea that once covered these lands has left behind innumerable fossilized sea animals.

This short documentary is a reflection on the passing of time, and how me might grasp memory and history. The film itself stands as a mark of time, too: one day, these people and their traditional ways of life will cease to exist, and the walls of Cleto will finally give in to the gnawing pressure of time. But through images, we can hold on to that which is lost a little longer.


Doclisboa International Film Festival
Portugal 2017

9th Intimalente Ethnographic Film Festival
Italy 2019

Directed, photographed and edited by Robin Petré.
Developed during La Guarimba Art Residency 2017.



ⓒ 2015-2020 Robin Petré / RAYAK films. All rights reserved.