An artistic documentary journey through the personal history and life experiences of Cretan women during the German occupation of Crete from 1941 to 1945.

Twenty-two Cretan women speak about their resistance and solidarity, about strong women, fears and hopes, about their struggle for survival and how they dealt with the occupiers. They recall how a mother was burned alive for protecting her daughter, how young girls sabotaged a German transport of Russian prisoners of war, and of hiding instead of going to school.

Participating in the resistance against the occupant was self-evident for most of these women. Without fear of their emotions, they relive the past and tell us about that part of their lives in their own voice – sad, angry, proud but also with laughter, for instance when remembering a mother’s comments on having only wild herbs to feed her children. Puppets, resembling the women, embody the emotional resonance of the stories told. The finely crafted faces of the puppets bring the women’s personal stories and the rubble mounts covered with overgrown grass back to life. When lying injured on the ground, the puppets’ wide-open eyes, carefully captured by the camera, are more poignant than words.

This documentary film shows how the effects of such experiences on these women’s lives are still clearly visible and very much present. The portrait of their vibrant memories is a journey through their personal history and the rugged coast and hills of Crete. It paints a different picture of the island, more known as a holiday paradise, in particular for northern European tourists.

The documentary was filmed in cooperation with the film collective Obscura Lab, the puppet theatre group Firdin Midgin from the city of Rethymno in Crete and Elena Moschou.

A movie by Barbara Englert und Leonie Englert.