“I just had this weird feeling that I’ve known him for ages.”
Slow is the International Feature submission for Lithuania. The film revolves around Dovydas, a sign language interpreter, who comes to assist a contemporary dancer Elena. She is instructing a class of deaf students and she’s in need of help with communicating with her young dancers. After their first session working together, Dovydas and Elena have an instant connection, an instant feeling of familiarity and comfort. Everything feels right. And there’s a feeling of innocence almost like discovering love for the first time.
Dovydas and Elena soon after begin to form a romantic bond with one another. There’s a gravitational pull that brings them together. They spend their days at her dance studio, as she prepares her routines with her students. They spend their time at local bars, getting to know one another better. They attend Dovydas’ brother’s wedding and they meet Elena’s mom. But as their relationship begins to get more intense, Dovydas reveals that he is asexual, and that he’s not attracted to anyone sexually. He never has been and he never will. And he can’t change it. Is love enough to sustain this relationship? Can we love someone without sex?
Slow offers a groundbreaking representation of asexuality. People who identify as asexual experience little or no sexual attraction to others. They instead offer emotional, spiritual and romantic attraction to their partners. The romance is real between Dovydas and Elena, and the chemistry is palpable. While they begin to figure out how to build on a relationship that isn’t physical, the intimacy between the two is ever present. There are no easy answers to be found. And the two must decide if their love for one another can conquer it all.
There’s no correct way of doing something. There aren’t a set of rules that everyone needs to follow and abide by. Not every relationship has to be identical and there’s no such thing as an undifferentiated bond or couple. The typical relationship doesn’t suit everyone and it doesn’t have to. There isn’t only one way of being together. Just because two people don’t follow what’s considered normal by societal rules doesn’t mean it’s weird. Every relationship requires work. Every love story is unique. Every bond can be different. And the film is a celebration of a different way to love, even if it doesn’t end up being eternal.
It’s a love story about learning and growing as a person. It’s a love story about rediscovering what it means to truly know someone and to take things slow. It’s a love story that’s special and will not be forgotten.