Small Island

( 3 )

Overview

This poignant adaptation of Andrea Levy's award-winning novel explores the lives of two couples, one Jamaican and the other English, whose worlds intertwine in post-World War II Britain, at a turning point in the long relationship between the two countries. It is a story of tender emotion and sparkling wit, of crossings taken and passages lost, of shattering compassion and of reckless optimism in the face of insurmountable barriers. Born into a broken home and an impoverished life in Jamaica, Hortense (Naomie ...
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DVD (Wide Screen)
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Overview

This poignant adaptation of Andrea Levy's award-winning novel explores the lives of two couples, one Jamaican and the other English, whose worlds intertwine in post-World War II Britain, at a turning point in the long relationship between the two countries. It is a story of tender emotion and sparkling wit, of crossings taken and passages lost, of shattering compassion and of reckless optimism in the face of insurmountable barriers. Born into a broken home and an impoverished life in Jamaica, Hortense (Naomie Harris) longs for a fulfilling life in England; one with a fine house and a doorbell. The door of opportunity swings open, and Hortense is married and on her way to the promised land of post-war Britain. Steadfast dreams are soon tested by hard realities as Hortense and her husband Gilbert (David Oyelowo) face racism and poverty. In the small-minded country, their only saving grace is Queenie (Ruth Wilson, Jane Eyre). But Queenie, married to the kind but dull Bernard (Benedict Cumberbatch, The Last Enemy), faces her own disillusionment. Bonded by high hopes and broken dreams, these four lives fuse together in a powerful and hopeful story of love and fulfillment.
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Special Features

Closed Caption
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/8/2010
  • UPC: 841887012362
  • Original Release: 2009
  • Rating:

  • Source: Pbs (Direct)
  • Region Code: 1
  • Presentation: Wide Screen
  • Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo
  • Language: English
  • Time: 3:00:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 22,219

Cast & Crew

Technical Credits
Joanna Anderson Producer
Vicky Licorish Producer
Grainne Marmion Producer
Paula Milne Screenwriter
Sarah Williams Screenwriter
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Masterpiece Theatre: Small Island
1. Introduction [2:14]
2. A Hurricane [14:47]
3. Carpe Diem [8:10]
4. Opportunities [15:37]
5. Two Kinds of Love [13:04]
6. The Pain of Lost Dreams [13:18]
7. Starting Over [15:08]
8. Part 1 Credits [:56]
9. Introduction [2:22]
10. Luck [11:18]
11. Out of the Cold [12:44]
12. The Return of Michael Roberts [13:10]
13. Fear of Answers [7:00]
14. Starting at the Bottom [16:17]
15. Plenty of Rooms [8:34]
16. The Best Thing [10:51]
17. Part 2 Credits [:56]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- Masterpiece Theatre: Small Island
   Play Program
   Scene Selection, Part 1
   Scene Selection. Part 2
   Setup
      Play With Video Descriptions - On
      Play With Video Descriptions - Off
   Pbs.org
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(2)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(0)

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 26, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I gave it a solid 4 stars, because it offered a glimpse into a s

    I gave it a solid 4 stars, because it offered a glimpse into a slice of
    postwar (WWII) history from a unique perspective - that of Jamaican
    immigrants in Britain. The voice changes between the four main
    characters: Hortense and her husband Gilbert from Jamaica and their
    white landlord Queenie and her husband, Bernard. The Jamaican patois
    lent an authentic touch, and since the author was born in England to
    Jamaican parents, I wondered if there wasn't a good bit of family
    biography disguised as fiction. The theme of third world citizens
    dreaming of escaping to what they believe will be a grander, happier
    life is not new, and Hortense, well educated for her Jamaican community
    and with high aspirations of teaching in England, certainly had dreams
    that were shattered again and again. Gilbert, who had fought valiantly
    in the RAF during the war, expects to be hailed as a war hero. Both
    encounter unexpected racism and snobbery in 1948 London as they compete
    unsuccessfully with thousands of returning soldiers who are also looking
    for jobs. Queenie deals with loneliness and lust as her dull banker
    husband goes to war and doesn't return when it's over. When he finally
    does show up, he has faced demons of his own in the awful things he
    witnessed, and now he must deal with a wife who not only thought he was
    dead but who is also pregnant. The threads of racism, sexual and
    cultural tension, colonialism, and the deprivations and hardships of war
    are all drawn well. Each of the characters is flawed in his or her own
    way, but as products of their own pasts and circumstances, they were
    portrayed movingly, realistically, and compassionately. One of the most
    poignant aspects of the book -- RAF veteran Gilbert's rejection by
    Londoners after fighting with great devotion for his mother country,
    England -- was described in a review from Publishers Weekly: "When
    Gilbert realizes that his pride in the British Empire is not
    reciprocated, he wonders, 'How come England did not know me?' His
    question haunts the story as it moves back and forth in time and space
    to show how the people of two small islands become inextricably bound together."

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 27, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews