The "balcony" of Ioannina. In Epirus, opposite the city of
Ioannina lies a small place, on the slope of Mitsikeli, the little
village of Ligiades.It is blessed with the wonderful view of the city
while it is cursed to be visible by the whole city of Ioannina and
the surrounding area. The Germans have passed from here
Ligiades, Sunday, 3 October 1943: Half of the village residents are behind Mitsikeli mountain in the village of Karyes in Zagori for the harvest of walnuts. On the mountain’s slope, 5 to 6 persons, relatives from the groom’s side of a nomad wedding, are going to pick up the bride according to the local custom. Late in the afternoon, German alpine commanders of the Edelweiss Division are invading the village. They are killing indiscriminately babies, children, women, elders while the houses are in flames. Some are burned alive. Hours later, the rest of the inhabitants return and find their families charred. The following day, a 14 month old baby is found by his fellow villagers breastfeeding its dead mother while it’s been stabbed by a bayonet.
1989: A German historian visits the village and records the survivors’ testimonies in audio tapes. Later that year, he refers to the German military archives for further research.
2010: Having completed his research Christoph U. Schminck Gustavus, Professor of Law History at the University of Bremen, issues the trilogy "Memories of Occupation". The third book focuses on the Ligiades holocaust.
2014: During an official visit in Ligiades on behalf of the Federal Republic of Germany, President Joachim Gauck pleads for forgiveness for the first time after the end of WWII.
The film’s director, Chrysanthos Konstantinidis, grows up listening to the stories of Ligiades, his place of origin. In 2013, wishing to share these stories and having already met Christoph U Schminck Gustavus, he begins to captivate testimonies from survivors and their descendants in his camera. The professor's book becomes an historical advisor and a companion to this project. Konstantinidis returns from Ligiades and Germany with a great volume of material. The emergence of this moment of history would not have been possible without the hospitality and help of the inhabitants of Ligiades, the tireless associates and the donors.
HISTORICAL RESEARCH: Christoph U. Schminck-Gustavus
RESEARCH ASSISTANt: Apostolis Papageorgiou
DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY: Giannis Chinos
FILM EDITING: George Georgopoulos-MULTIVISION
CAMERA ASSISTANT: Vaggelis Zikos
SOUND RECORDING: Aggelos Gourgouras
SOUND EDITING & SOUND DESIGN: Kostas Filaktidis-TONE STUDIO
COLOR CORRECTION: Alexis Kapidakis- AUTHORWAVE
VFX: Giannis Ageladopoulos - KINEMATIC
PRODUCTION ASSISTANT : Alexia Giakoubini
DRONE CAMERA OPERATOR: Tasos Fitros - FLYING DOG
BACKSTAGE PHOTOGRAPHER: Dimitris Drakopoulos
ORIGINAL MUSIC: Alexandros Petrou
COVER VERSIONS OF TRADITIONAL SONGS: Alexis Karametis
DIRECTED PRODUCED AND WRITTEN: Chrysanthos Konstantinidis