This short film explores the absence of touch during lockdown

Many Hands, with words from Frankie Wade, features interpretations of longing for touch and connection, performed remotely by people across the world

Remember this skin, remember kissing, remember not missing,” narrates Frankie Wade, in the opening of “Many Hands”, a short film reflecting on the absence of physical touch and connection that many people have experienced during lockdown. “I wonder… did we take for granted, like if we knew we wouldn’t be able to touch would we have taken more chances?

As Wade speaks, the film’s visuals – directed by Sundae – provide an evocative, nostalgic backdrop: shots of limbs intertwined and skin on skin. “I jumped on this project because for me, nothing is more important than human connection,” says Wade. “Sadly I think it’s largely lost in today’s society.”

“However I believe we all experienced first hand during lockdown just how important it actually is. Sometimes something has to be taken away for us to realise its value.”

“Many Hands” wasn’t originally envisioned as a film, but as a photography series by photographer and founder of The Earth Issue Elena Cremona, captured over Zoom and FaceTime. “We forget that hands are our first point of contact with another person,” she says. “Unable to reach out physically, I turned to connecting with people by virtually photographing their hands.”

The project remained socially distanced as it progressed into the moving image, with Sundae filming performers from around the globe in their own homes, as they took part in Cremona’s virtual photoshoots. 

“Our brief twenty minute Zoom shoots became the highlight of our day during lockdown,” the studio says, adding that the distancing measures dictated by the coronavirus pandemic had some unexpected silver linings: “It was a really interesting creative process to be so limited by filming through a screen, to embrace the super digital, compressed video aesthetic you get from an online conference call, it’s been weirdly freeing.”

Watch the short film, directed by Sundae with words from Frankie Wade, above.