1908: Basil Pascali (Sir Ben Kingsley), a spy for the Sultan, sends reports to Istanbul that nobody reads. His suspicions are roused when a British archeologist appears, who may not be quite what he seems.Written by
The "Initial Film and Television" company that co-produced this movie was primarily a producer of music programming for television, and continued to be so for the following few decades. By 2019, Initial is now part of the Endemol Shine group, but it's unclear which company owns this movie, as it was a co-production with FilmFour International, the hybrid theatrical-television movie production division of the U.K.'s Channel Four, a.k.a. "Film on Four"/"FilmFour". See more »
Pascali's Island takes place in 1908 on a Greek Island still in the possession of the decaying Ottoman Empire. This movie gave a very strong sense of place and time. It concerns three principal characters; Basil Pascali(Kingsley)--a spy for the Sultan, an English adventurer/swindler(Dance), and an artistic free-spirit(Mirren). In the end it is the story of three middle-aged people who had led lives of disappointment thus far. In the film their lives become intertwined at a critical moment for all of them. Although the film is small in scope the historical period of impending change in which it takes place underscores the longing in each of the characters to find more purpose in their lives. The story is built around Pascali's dilemma: Does he remain faithful to the Sultan who has been the center of his life so far, but who has never even acknowledged him, or does he take a chance with two people who he has come to care for, but cannot trust? The subtle but rich way in which Ben Kingsley portrays Pascali in his dilemma is very moving. Lastly, the music and over all mood created for this multi-layered and thoughtful film are perfect.
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