"Little England" is the name of the new film by Greek director Pantelis Voulgaris, which is another joint project with his wife, writer Ioanna Karystiani. The film shows on the big screen the story of her eponymous novel, which was released in 1997. The book attracted the interest of thousands of readers, was translated into many languages and received the Greek State Fiction Award.
The action takes place on the island of Andros, which sailors know quite well and in the seas where cargo ships sail. The film presents the life on Andros during the 1930s and 1940s, and tells the life stories of sailors’ wives who bear the burden of everyday life alone. The women on Andros love men who are not by their side, they are worried, suffer many changes, imagine that their husbands are right next to them, constantly waiting for them.
A house, a secret, a man and two sisters. Orsa, who is 20 years old, is madly in love with navy lieutenant Spiros Maltambe. She is quite reticent and does not reveal her secret to anyone. Her younger sister, Mosha, is dynamic and full of dreams. She wants to leave Andros and escape the fate of the women of the island who marry sailors and then spend their lives alone because their husbands are constantly sailing. For their mother Mina, the wife of a sea captain who prefers the deck of the ship to his home, love means trouble and pain. He ignores the feelings of his daughters, plotting and taking advantage of his acquaintances at the same time, and makes them marry, following his interests. Orsa becomes the wife of shipping owner and captain Nikos Vatakouzis and Mosha of Spiros, who is now captain. The two young families occupy the two floors of the house that the mother has built with the money sent by her husband. Unconsciously, she puts a "bomb" in her own home.
The rigidity of the small community, the unbearable roles in society that are being assigned without the right of withdrawal, the loneliness, oblivion, interest, guilt, war and mourning - all must behave as required, regardless of the circumstances.
The film is faithful to the true beauty of the island, without being idyllic. It presents, with unusual sophistication, the landscape of Andros, its caves, stone houses, dovecotes, bridges and narrow streets.
True to the eternity of authentic emotions, "Little England" has not confined to the era it represents. Through the small world of a family, the film unfolds a variety of human adventures and reveals the frenetic love of a woman for a man, of a man for the sea and the obsession of a mother for the safety secured by settled accounts.
With penetrating insight, Pantelis Voulgaris recreates a complex story, bringing to light the shadows of everyday life, hidden secrets, difficult relationships and the price of obedience. Once again, the director has entrusted the lead roles to young actors who are not yet famous.
Pantelis Voulgaris is one of the most prominent representatives of contemporary Greek cinema. He is the author of the first feature film about the Greek Civil War "Deep Soul" and the film "Bride" which received international awards. The heartbreaking story of young women who cross the ocean to become wives of strangers again bears the signature of the director’s wife Ioanna Karystiani.
"Little England" will be released in cinemas on 5 December
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