European Union Film Festival 2012: Small Crime depicts mystery amid remote island life
Life for rookie policeman Leonidas is quiet on the small Greek island he’s been assigned to watch over with the chief of police.
As the film Small Crime begins, Leonidas (Aris Servetalis) is seen chasing down a young driver for speeding through a red light. After his makeshift siren, a megaphone in the basket of his slow-moving scooter, fails him, he eventually manages to wave down the driver—only to let him off with a warning and a hand pushing his rickety pick-up truck.
The young police officer’s daily routine also includes taking his morning coffee and custard cake in the local café, and boating past naked sunbathing tourists to shout at them to put their bathing suits on.That’s until the body of local man Zacharias is discovered at the bottom of a cliff below the town. As Leonidas investigates the mysterious incident, he meets Angeliki (Vicky Papadopoulou), a TV talk-show host who has returned to her mother’s home on the island. Director Christos Georgiou depicts the ensuing story in an amusing, captivating way, as we see Leonidas imagine various over-the-top scenarios that could have led to Zacharias’ death. The romance that begins to unfold between Leonidas and Angeliki also plays outs in a comedic narrative. Hours after the two characters fall asleep next to each other on a cliffside, the word is seen travelling instantly through the tight-knit community, the rumours escalating to a frenzy before the pair have even made their way home. Throughout the film, a sense of remote island life is portrayed with amusing detail, from the fast-moving gossip, to the politics played by the local mayor and doctor, who is scheming to build an unusual large-scale development outside the tiny town. The stunning landscape also becomes a central aspect of the story, from images of the iconic white-washed houses of the Greek island, to the gorgeous ocean scenery, and the colourful blue doors and narrow streets of the village. Georgiou draws memorable performances from both Servetalis and Papadopoulou, succeeding in producing a unique and charming comedy, set against the backdrop of a spectacular location. Small Crime will be screened as part of the European Union Film Festival at the Pacific Cinémathèque at 8:30 p.m. today (November 23) and at 4:30 p.m. on November 25.