Film Title: Maya, Screening: Friday 07 October 2011 at 16:30. Venue: Apollo Cinema Piccadilly Circus, 19 Lower Regent Street, SW1Y 4LR, London. Telephone Booking: call 0871 220 6000 and say “Operator’ for a human being at the cinema.
A beautifully told tale of envy and gossip from director Pluton Vasi. A man who has been living in the west returns to his village in Albania to bury his father. Having met the beautiful Maya, he wants to stay on and make a life for himself there, but a vicious web of rumour and hearsay threatens his happiness.
Set in one of Albania’s many impoverished villages, we witness the arrival of an outsider and the imbalance he creates, pitting age-old tradition and new-found power against each other in a whirlwind of romance, corruption and suspicion.
After years living abroad, Samiu returns to his Albanian village to bury his father’s remains. Although he is well-received at first, things start to go awry when Samiu evicts the family living on his land and begins an affair with Maya – his cousin’s wife. Deciding to stay in the village and open up a hair salon, Samiu must face not only the mistrust and gossip of the villagers but the danger of the Police Chief, who is also besotted with Maya. As the situation begins to get out of hand it will be Halisa, Maya’s daughter, who tries to set things right again.
The small village in Maya can be seen as a metaphor of Albanian society at large – immersed in custom and tradition, stricken with poverty and unemployment. Samiu represents new money – he’s successful and rich, yet seemingly immoral – a small drop that causes a massive ripple effect in the village’s social pond. In its exploration of broken traditions and human relationships, Maya represents an Albania on the cusp of change, struggling to break free of its past and uncertain about the future it wants for itself.
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