Once upon a time, Great Britain ruled an empire over which, at its height, the Sun never set. Yet, by the year 1982, the once-mighty British were reduced to fighting Argentina over the Falkland Islands, a couple of spits of land populated by as many sheep as people. Though it was a silly little war — think Reagan’s grand Grenada excursion — people on both sides died just the same, and tension and bitterness remain to this day. The victorious British have only recently and grudgingly begun allowing Argentineans back onto the islands.
That’s where Fabian (Fabian Stratas) comes in. He arrives in the Falklands, posing as a tourist. What he’s really up to, however, is a far more insidious plot; a secret and subversive scheme to have Argentinean men impregnate as many British islanders as possible, thus allowing Argentina to take back the island through its half Argentinean offspring.
Fabian, not surprisingly, willingly acts as an advance scout for this mission. After rejecting a number of prospects, he settles on Camilla (Camilla Heaney), a comely British lass, and embarks on his lustful mission in earnest.
Director Jose Luis Marques has put together an intriguing film in “Fuckland.” The title itself functions as a dual pun; a naughty mispronunciation of “Falklands,” as well as an indicator of the contempt with which Fabian regards the island’s female residents. Following the rules of the infamous “Dogma 95” manifesto, most of this film is shot from the POV of Fabian’s video camera which dangles around his neck. This raw, fish-eyed perspective gives the film a documentary quality, it’s true, but also adds a certain voyeuristic flair. This is especially true of the film’s many portions where the islanders, in true verite form, unknowingly react to Fabian, not as if he’s a character in a movie, but as if he’s any other tourist. Marques then skillfully interweaves his narrative involving Fabian and Camilla into this sort of travelogue.
What’s particularly impressive is how seamlessly Stratas and Heaney fold their budding fictional romance into the “civilian” segments. Stratas’ Fabian is a persistently devilish charmer, at least in Camilla’s presence. This makes him all the more despicable in his private asides to the camera, especially once we realize what it really is he’s up to.
It takes a while to get into this film. The opening feels like someone’s vacation home video — and who wants to sit through that? — until the film picks up steam in its middle section. The film outsmarts itself at the conclusion, however, as Marques tacks on a wholly unnecessary coda that serves only to undercut everything we’ve been watching.
This is unfortunate, as up until that point, “Fuckland” had managed to pull off a fairly difficult and reasonably entertaining intermingling of reality and fiction, while throwing in a dash of pointed political commentary for good measure.