Pascali's Island

Watch Pascali's Island

"At the end of an empire, a mystery began."
  • PG-13
  • 1988
  • 6.7  (1,466)

Pascali's Island is a 1988 film directed by James Dearden and based on the novel by Barry Unsworth. The movie is set in 1908, during the last days of the Ottoman Empire, and follows the story of a spy named Basil Pascali (played by Ben Kingsley) who works for the Sultan and is stationed on a small Greek island called Nisi. Pascali is a lonely and cynical man who has been living on Nisi for years, reporting on the activities of the Europeans who come to the island for various reasons. He spends most of his time in his dilapidated office, sending coded messages to his superiors in Constantinople and dreaming of the day when he will finally be free of his job and able to return home.

However, Pascali's world is turned upside down when two new arrivals come to Nisi: the archaeologist Anthony Bowles (played by Charles Dance) and a mysterious woman named Lydia Neuman (played by Helen Mirren), who claims to be interested in buying the island from the Turkish authorities. Pascali is immediately suspicious of the two strangers and sets out to learn everything he can about them.

As Pascali gets closer to Bowles and Neuman, he begins to uncover a web of deception and intrigue that threatens to destroy everything he holds dear. He finds himself torn between his loyalty to the Sultan and his growing sympathy for the Greeks who have been oppressed by the Turks for centuries. And as the situation on the island becomes increasingly volatile, with the threat of war looming on the horizon, Pascali must decide where his loyalties truly lie.

The film is beautifully shot, with stunning footage of the Greek island and its surrounding waters. The costumes and sets are also top-notch, transporting the viewer back to a time and place that feels both exotic and familiar. The performances are also excellent across the board, with Kingsley in particular giving a tour-de-force performance as the conflicted and complex Pascali.

However, the film's greatest strength lies in its exploration of themes such as identity, nationalism, and colonialism. Pascali is a man caught between two worlds, struggling to reconcile his loyalty to the distant Sultan with his growing attachment to the land and people of Nisi. Bowles and Neuman, too, are outsiders in their own way, searching for meaning and purpose in a world that seems to offer little of either.

Ultimately, Pascali's Island is a compelling and thought-provoking film that offers a glimpse into a fascinating period of history. Whether you're a fan of historical dramas or simply appreciate great storytelling and strong performances, this film is definitely worth checking out.

Pascali's Island is a 1988 drama. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.7.

Pascali's Island
Where to Watch Pascali's Island
Pascali's Island is available to watch free on The Roku Channel Free and Tubi TV. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Amazon and Google Play. Some platforms allow you to rent Pascali's Island for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
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  • IMDB Rating
    6.7  (1,466)