Time Machine: “Travel Without a Passport”

“A Trip to Crete” is a rare film from France from the 1950’s, a short that took the French filmmakers to various landscapes across the island. The French-language film is a window onto the beaches, mountains, villages, mills, and agricultural scenes (harvest grain and melons) during a simpler time. Crete during the 1950s was a prosperous part of Greece owing to the fact the island somehow managed to stay out of the wider Greek Civil War that ravaged an already downtrodden Greece after World War II.

The “Travel Without a Passport” film showed a Crete island with no tourists… no hotels, and no traffic jams, just the island from time immemorial. 12 minutes in length, the French piece shows scenes from a local festival with farmers wearing traditional costumes.

This wonderful film short was presented in a broadcast on French television on December 12, 1959. Other films like “The Sun-Baked Island of Crete” by director Pitt Koch from West Germany also shine a warm light on the land of the ancient Minoans before mass tourism arrived.

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