British writer and filmmaker Michael Radford, director of such notable titles as ‘1984’, ‘Pasiones en Kenia’ or ‘El postero (y Pablo Neruda)’ and of some more debatable such as ‘La mula’, which shot in Spain and refused to sign, debuted as director with ‘Another time, another place’, a subtle and honest drama set in Scotland during the last months of World War II in Europe.
Radford was born in India, in New Delhi, on November 14, 1950. To an Austrian mother and a British father, he grew up mainly in different countries of the Middle East. He graduated from the National Film School in 1974, where he began his work as a filmmaker. At first he was dedicated to making a series of documentaries for the BBC in Scotland, including the much-lauded medium-length film ‘Van Morrison in Ireland’, after which he decided to embark on the feature film adventure.
The filmmaker had the opportunity to read, before its publication, a novel by the Scotswoman Jessie Kesson, who told an impossible love story and decided that it was very suitable to bring it to the screen. With his career at the BBC it was not difficult for him to raise the production, surrounding himself with an excellent technical and artistic team, whom he knew, in many cases, from their television work. Radford himself does the script and adaptation and calls in very solid actors who give him security when shooting: Phyllis Logan, Giovanni Mauriello, Denise Coffey, Paul Youngn, Gianluca Favilla or Gregor Fisher. Claim the excellent cinematographer Roger deakins, for lighting and photography, to Tom priestley for music, and for artistic direction to Hayden Pearce.
The film is set in a tiny peasant community in the Scottish Northeast in 1943, in the middle of the world war. Janie (Phyllis Logan) is a young Scottish housewife married to Dougal (Paul Young), a man who is 15 years her senior. By participating in a war rehabilitation program, the couple welcome three Italian prisoners of war to work on their farm. Janie soon falls in love with one of the three, Luigi (Giovanni Mauriello), her age. She will start a secret relationship with Luigi that will be doomed from the beginning.
The film speaks, in a subtle way, of two types of prison, the one that creates war and the one that forges life. The film shows the way in which the two people directly afflicted by both types of captivity, Janie and Luigi, are pushed towards each other, until both are released. In the background it narrates how a prisoner of war achieves the liberation of a woman whose nature and the community in which she lives had always denied her that she came to realize herself.
Filming takes place during the months of September and October 1982 on Blake Isle, North Scotland, with some additional scenes shot in spring and winter. The film is selected for the 1983 Cannes Film Festival, where it is screened on May 23. It opens in England on July 15, and arrives in Spain in the fall of that year, mostly in original version cinemas. Leading lead Phyllis Logan wins the BAFTA Award for Outstanding Newcomer of the Year, and the film gets rave reviews wherever it opens. Today it is considered one of the most outstanding films of British cinema of the eighties, a golden decade for English auteur films.