Here is our Crete here is Patsidero?…say  the Albanian kids.Most of them can’t find Albania on the map.

One year ago, I discovered a small school at the remote village in Northern Crete, where all the students except one are Albanians, I realized that life can be made to feel better for people that were forced to leave their country and especially young ones who followed their parents choice and did not make this decision themselves.
Andreas, Yiorgos, Despina, Angela are the Greek names
given to the Albanian kids who attend the school in Patsidero.Their parents have chosen to baptize them Greek orthodox so their names and religion has changed even if they never practiced religion in Albania now they are called by a different name.“No one is obliged to get baptized this is something they choose and they are more and more who abandon their names and religion in order to get better integrated in this new country” says the local priest, and Yiannis an Albanian father adds:  “I learned how to light a candle at the age of 32! I love going to church I need to have faith.”

This is the only school in Greece where all the students except one are Albanians. Yiorgos is the only Greek in fact he is a foreigner in his own country. Their teacher Yiannis treats everybody equally  « For me they are students » he says « I do not care about their nationality. I want to learn from them encourage them not to forget their culture their language and at the same time learn about Greece their new home.»

The school has welcomed them and helped them to learn Greek. This has helped their families to feel better in their new home.

The school which first opened in 1800 was threatened with closure due to the lack of students but now that the Albanian kids have arrived the school can remain open.

I decided to make this film as I feel it is  important to present a positive aspect of coexistence which is primarily secured by the initiatives of two romantic teachers.

I am looking at pointing out a moving peaceful creative coexistence not only is possible but can also be very fertile. What is needed is inspired and generous people like the teacher, the priest, open minds as the minds of the children always are and the hope for better life which is deeply rooted in all immigrants dreams. “In Albania we had nothing here we have something” Simos Albanian father

I have visited the village many times since January 2003 and I have visited all the homes of both Albanian and greek families. I have followed the kids at work in the fields or with the animals. All children both Albanian and Greek help their parents at work. They are all poor so their children have to work from a very early age. They discover a value system far beyond consumerism. They work, they sing, they play, they dance, they love to be outdoor.

This is how they live, they celebrate small scale, they love and care for their land, they work with it and they learn to accept their immigrant neighboors.

Immigration has recently become a major issue in Greece, a country which only few years ago use to migrate in almost every continent.Now we need to learn to welcome immigrants here.

The small one seat school in Patsidero is a model example of how things can be done with a lot of joy a lot of effort and a lot of fun even life for the poor can blossom.

Greek National Day Parade Yiorgos the greek has the privilege of holding the Greek flag at Greek National Day’s parade. All Albanian kids would love to hold the flag but the village community is not prepared for such a breakthrough. This could cause big unsettlement.
The teacher draws a ballot, but kids know that the ballot always goes to Yiorgos the Greek. They protest and as the teacher does not want to disappoint them every kid gets a small flag.............
Every one is happy                       

“ I am from Patsidero. Black is the dress for all and if somebody contradicts me I take out my pistol” original Cretan “mantinada” 4 verse improvised poem composed by an Albanian kid for the village.


My father was a teacher. During military dictatorship he was forced to abandon Greece and he became a gastarbeiter in Germany.
When I went to live with him in Germany my German was non existent so kids at school made fun of me.
My father did not put up with immigrant life.. He  died in Germany at the  age of 45, three years older than me today.

Maybe……… he was not lucky enough to meet inspired people like the teacher or the priest in Crete to help him out in his new in German. Maybe……… the fact that he did not have us, his kids with him did not provide him with tenderness which can a remedy in these difficult times of immigration. Even if it may seem late….

I would like to dedicate this film to him
and make it so that I can show some optimism to all of these people that are forced to leave their countries so that they do not lose their hope for something better so that they do not lose track of the people that are around them to «wait» for them and accept them.


  Film Credits
  Director Lucia Rikaki
  Screenplay Lucia Rikaki

Yiannis Fragiadakis the teacher, Manolis Kossdekakis the priest, Despoina Lame, Andreas Lame, Armanto Teroli, Andreas Teroli, Aggela Teroli, Georges Gerakiannakis, Georges Mytro and the kids
and inhabitants of the village Patsideros in Northern Crete, Greece

  Cinematography Lucia Rikaki, , 
Nikos Nikolaidis
  Editing Yiannis Daridis
  Original Soundtrack Costis Zevgadellis 
  Lyrics Yiota Vassilakopoulou
  Sound Polys Pierropoulos
  Still photography Nikos Pilos
  Post production Cinergon
  Production Ôricky Ôrick LTD ©2004
  Distributor Tricky Trick Films
  Subtitles English
  Format Digital Beta
35 mm
  Length 74min. + 52min




hear the song





  designed by nn luciarikaki©2003