Two Distant Strangers (NetFlix)

By TT Stern-Enzi | April 20, 2021

Each year during awards season, as a film critic, I struggle over how to celebrate the films nominated in the three Academy Awards Shorts categories (Animated, Live Action, and Documentary), because it is difficult for audiences to gain access to the films prior to the awards show. This year, ShortsTV has teamed up with theaters to offer both in-person theatrical and virtual cinema screening options. For more information, visit

For more immediate access to one title in particular, home viewers need to look no further than Netflix. The streamer has Live Action Short nominee Two Distant Strangers available, at this particularly timely moment. The half-hour narrative blends science fiction and social commentary in an explosively dramatic tale about a cartoonist (Joey Bada$$) who finds himself repeating the same day, as he attempts to get home to take care of his dog, but confronts a police officer (Andrew Howard) intent on not allowing him to arrive safely. The short captures a heartbreaking existential dilemma with no easy solution that speaks to a fundamental reality of life in America for people of color.