“Malta is no longer a country…Malta is a business.” – with these words in our head we started writing this review of a short movie that really gets the viewers' attention and raises some very important questions in an elegant manner. 'Arcadia' tells the story of a father and his son, moving in the countryside of Malta in a very simplistic place that is more a place of internal reflection than anything else. Not long afterwards, problems start to appear, and as we are used to nowadays, the construction industry wants to take over their intimate space. The war with the inner and outer daemons is very strong for the father and it turns out that life is not that easy in the wilderness.
One thing that really impressed us about this movie was the language used – as far as we can remember there was no other film in the Maltese language before in our festival, and we were glad to watch a short movie in a language that sounds both musical and temperate. The main actor was a delight for us, playing this hard role in a way that really convinced us of his talent. Also, the editing was good as the film kept us captivated for twenty five minutes with impeccable cuts and fantastic landscapes.
Jamie Vella’s 'Arcadia' is not that different from the old, Utopian place Arcadia. In the Greek mythology, Arcadia was something very similar to heaven, a place ruled by Pan where everything was green, all the flowers were blossoming and most of all, was the land of the supernatural entities. Even though it looked like heaven, it wasn’t the place for the mortals seeking a place for afterlife, and probably if mortals intervened, bad things would have happened. It's similar here, in Jamie Vella’s 'Arcadia': the man who bought the land is the God of his territory, ruling it as he pleases, but everything changes when an exterior force tries to go there and intervene in his natural habitat. We’ve seen this story through history some other times, and the enemy was always the same, and even though it wasn’t the best case scenario, the enemy won almost every time. And yes, the man is the enemy.
Written by Vlad A. G