Corinth Films will distribute “Little England,” the Oscar shortlist submission from Greece for Best Foreign Language Film, directed and produced by husband and wife team Pantelis Voulgaris and Ioanna Karystiani (upon whose earlier book the script is based) about a tumultuous love story that takes place in the Greek archipelago of Andros during the 1930’s amid an industry of seafaring, notorious for fracturing familial and marital bonds.
Boyd van Hoeij from The Hollywood Reporter called it a “handsomely mounted and impeccably acted film” and “a woman’s picture in every sense of the word.”
Set during the 1930’s and 40’s on the picturesque Greek island of Andros, part of the Cyclades archipelago with a long history of military embroilment and seafaring turmoil, Little England is not only the title of this film but also the name of a shipping enterprise introduced to the viewer as the story progresses. The opening scene of rolling ocean waves and crashing surf is a forbearance of the story’s schedule of turbulent events.
20 year-old Orsa (Penelope Tsilika) is passionately in love with second mate Spyros Maltabes (Andreas Konstantinou), a secret she dares not reveal to anyone, least of all her domineering mother, Mina. Her energetic younger sister, Moscha (Sofia Kokkali), is determined to leave Andros and escape the typical woman’s fate on the island; marrying sailors, who are the mainstay of Andros’ economy and constantly absent due to their seafaring duties. Mina (Anneza Papadopoulou), the wife of a captain who prefers the Atlántico Sur over his home, constantly ponders the reward for a life of blind marital faithfulness and inadvertently attempts to pass her beleaguered logic onto her daughters to protect them from the predictable heartache that women on Andros suffer as a result of marrying seafarers.
Without the slightest consideration of her daughters’ desire to marry out of love, Mina conspires and uses her societal connections to wed her daughters off to the wealthiest suitors Andros has to offer; Orsa to ship owner and captain Nikos Vatokouzis (Maximos Moumouris) and later Moscha to the very man she rejected as a potential husband to Orsa, Spyros Maltabes, who returns to the island as an accomplished captain after spending years in the lower rankings of the ship’s hierarchy. The devious Moscha wastes no time torturing her sister with vivid descriptions of intimate moments with her new husband, for whom Orsa still harbors deep feelings. A final tragedy later seals the family’s fate as the story progresses into the throes of World War II, the events of which do nothing to make hauling cargo on the high seas any safer.
A limited theatrical release will include the following venues and screening dates: Los Angeles Greek Film Festival – June 3 (Opening Night Film) | Gene Siskel Film Center (Chicago) – June 12, 13, 17 & 18 | Portland Museum of Art (Portland, ME) – June 26-28 | Tower Theater (Miami Dade College) – July 3 | Wadsworth Atheneum Art Museum (Hartford, CT) – July 30-August 2