Selected Documents

Video gallery

Spinalonga - The island of lepers (drone)

Video that has resulted from drone shots .

Duration: 2 minutes.

Last Word (Letzte Worte) (1968)

In 1968, the then-young and now-famous German director Werner Herzog shot an experimental documentary, "Last Word" (Letzte Worte), about the best lyre player of Crete who spent a large part of his life in the Leper Colony of Spinalonga. When it closed, and all the lepers left, he was left alone on the island, refusing to return. With this documentary, he won the first prize at the Oberhausen Movie Festival—shots of the island, the streets and the cemetery.

Duration: 13 minutes.

Crete Without Gods (1935) - Film footage

Footage from the documentary film "Crete without Gods". Directed by René Zuber (1902-1979) and Roger Leenhardt (1903-1985) in 1934, produced by Les Films du Compas, created in the same year by the two filmmakers.

The film, which was designed as a tour of the villages and the Cretan countryside, contains an ethnographic dimension. A part of it is dedicated to the island of Spinalonga, which lepers then inhabited. The photographer and filmmaker René Zuber also created in 1934 the first partnership of photographers, the Alliance Photo, which played an essential role in the history of photography between the two World Wars.

Duration: 4 minutes.

The island of the lepers

Material from various productions edited in one video.
Duration: 11 minutes.

Spinalonga (1927) – The visit of Charles Nicolle (film footage)

In September 1927, upon the urgent request of Georges Blanc, the director of the Pasteur Institute in Athens at the time, and the Cretan doctor Michael Katapotis a great defender of the lepers, the French Nobel awarded doctor Charles Nicolle (1866-1936) travels to Crete with his son and the writer Georges Duhamel. On this occasion, they visit the Leper Colony of Spinalonga accompanied by the provincial doctor E. Perakis, Georges Blanc, Michael Katapotis, and various officials of Crete. We can assume that the short film, the footage shown here, was shot by his son, Charles Nicole.

On his return to Paris, Charles Nicolle writes an article in the French magazine L'Illustration, published on November 24, 1928. In this article, he describes the miserable living conditions he encountered on the island and the lack of medical care for the patients. He also dispatches to Spinalonga at his own expense 10,000 doses of the Hygranol formulation, which until then was considered the only medicine that had any effect on the disease of leprosy.

Duration: 3 minutes.