Lois Patiño



Night Without Distance

HD/ 23 Mins/ 16:9/ Sound/ 2015

An instant in the memory of landscape: the smuggling that for centuries crossed the line between Portugal and Galicia. The Gerês Mountains know no borders, and rocks cross from one country to another with insolence. Smugglers also disobey this separation. The rocks, the river, the trees: silent witnesses which help them to hide. They just have to wait for the night to cross the distance that separates them.

Night Without Distance interrogates the border between the Historic Nation of Galicia, northwest of the Iberian Peninsula, and its southern neighbour, Portugal. As with all borders, smuggling was fundamental to the development of both countries, particularly in times of crisis.


Its scenes of smuggling in the Serra do Geres are shot in routes actually used by smugglers, with local people participating as actors. Some of them were smugglers in their youth.

Border is reflected in the formal aspect of the film, in which fiction, documentary and experiment intermingle. Immobility, and an extreme colour treatment are used to emphasise the idea of being in a spectral and timeless space, or, as Patino describes it, “a landscape populated by ghosts of an indeterminate past”.