Unquestionably, Little England, Pantelis Voulgaris’ latest film, is made for the big screen: it is monumental and expansive, a fresco structured around long shots with expressive depth of field and a unique visual perspective transporting spectators to the precarious boundaries between pathos and sentimentalism. The film is framed by the excess of emotions that permeate both story and representation: there is no distancing vacuum in its mise-en-scène: everything is full of a powerful rhetoric that suspends the resistances of the spectator through its rejection of both naturalism and illusionism at the same time.
The story itself is quiet complex and intriguing: set in the 1930s and 1940s, it is about the love affair of two sisters with the same man, within the provincial society on the island of Andros (affectionately called ‘Little England’, as its small society imitated to social organisation of the mighty English naval empire). Their mother (Aneza Papadopoulou), the viper, as she is called, decides, for reasons of financial security, to marry the second daughter Moscha (Sophia Kokkali) with the man that the first is in love with (Andreas Konstantinou) and the first Orsa (Penelope Tsilika) with a powerful and wealthy shipowner (Maximos Moumouris). After her decision, the house, which was built by herself and her husband who is travelling for years in distant countries, becomes the haunted place of a bizarre and tense coexistence. The secret love remains secret until Moscha’s husband is killed during the Second World War in the most explosive moment of the film. Orsa’s mental state disintegrates, while later her letters to her first love are discovered and explain to her sister and her own family how it happened. ... More