Someone’s land is no-man’s land


‘Illegal development’ in Malta with structures like boat houses and the legal ‘rape’ of other parts of the islands (think high-rise block upon block in Sliema) is discussed in this short film by Christopher Gj Cooley. There’s no particular finger pointing going on here though.

The film’s narrative casts an insightful roving and probing eye into the whys and wherefores of the ramshackle, shanty town that hugs Little Armier. It contrasts this development’s encroachment on the natural landscape in Malta’s north with the swathes of concrete of the resort towns to the south. Which is better or worse to the eye and less offensive to our morals? Perhaps the low-rise, almost uniformly pastel blue shanties are even endearing in their odd way, and certainly more able to foster community spirit – in summer months anyway.

Christopher got to know many of the Little Armier ‘residents’ when his work in tourism took him up that way a few summers ago. This curious community intrigued him and prompted this film. He shot it over several days, camping out at the bay to catch the rhythm of life there from dawn til dusk. He interviews a colourful character who prefers though to remain anonymous and be filmed at a distance, and talks to a pressure group, the Ramblers’ Association.

It’s 15 minutes long, and well worth watching as it portrays a reality of our tiny islands that many of us avoid discussing, particularly those in power.

Contact Christopher by email here.

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