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“Mikra Anglia” the movie: A landmark in greek cinematography

18 December on en   The two sisters, Moscha and Orsa

On Thursday 5th December, I kept receiving the same text message from many friends: “I’m watching THE MOVIE! Is Andros such a beautiful island?”

Since that day, the movie Mikra Anglia (Little England) has been on more than 100 cinemas.  

Having already read the book of Ioanna Karistiani, an exquisite novel of the interwar period, I was wondering if it would ever be possible for the movie to express the power of repressed feelings, untold secrets and the tragedy of the characters, as these were so uniquely described by the author.

Nonetheless, as Pantelis Voulgaris is the director of the film, all doubts vanish; the true face of the island reveals itself, the souls unfold and are exposed to light, and all questions are answered:

What made Andros such a different island, so cautious towards strangers?

Why were the shutters of the imposing captains’ mansions almost always shut, the roads deserted and the destinies predetermined?

The answer to all the questions is simply one: the lack of men on the island! “The men were the captains of the ships and their women were the captains of their homes”, these are the words of the mother of the two girls Orsa and Moscha. “The wives were married to the photographs of their husbands”, quotes Moscha, and their dowry was a pair of binoculars, so that they can look at the sea with agony, just in case their husbands appeared, while behind the drawn lace-curtains of their homes they used to embroider every shipwreck and weave the fate of their children.

The movie even a week after, still fills my eyes and my soul with pictures.

Every single adjective I can think of, to describe this movie can only be expressed in the superlative degree. The fact that only during the first three days of the movie’s projection, more than 60.000 tickets were issued, is not a coincidence.

All the performances were exceptional, but I for one, would single out the outstanding performance of Pinelopi Tsilika as Orsa and that of her boisterous and enthusiastic sister, Moscha, role interpreted by Sofia Kokkali. The scenery makes you travel back in time and live in Andros during the period of 1930s – 1940s, walk in the local markets and the pedestrian road, stand on the dock where the customs-house operated, pass the square and the luminous Kairios Library. At this point, I have to mention that this movie couldn’t have been created without the contribution of the people of Andros, who opened their homes and took part in the movie: twenty houses were given for the shootings of the movie, 6 caiques were brought from Evia and Salamina, 500 people helped out and 750 people were supporting actors!

As far as the photography of the film is concerned, it mesmerizes you, it is magical… therefore my reply to all these texts was “YES, Andros is indeed so beautiful!” Wild and at the same time sweet like honey, with the grey sea becoming turquoise on the coasts and the sea caves and with the wind becoming a gentle aura that caresses the wildflowers in the lush green trails and the stone bridges, while the doves purr in the dovecotes.

The “Maltabes’s circle”, the route that Orsa followed to meet her beloved Spyros, urges you to follow that same route, smell the aroma of the flowers, listen to the whispers and feel its secrets. 

On the island of Andros, “the blue color permeates everywhere” (Ioanna Karistiani, Mikra Anglia).

Aliki

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