The Weavers (1905 film)

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The original first 15-second motion picture that shows the 114-year-old Despina Manaki weaving.

The Weavers[1] or Grandmother Despina is a silent, black and white documentary film made in 1905 by the Balkan film pioneers the Manaki brothers in the small Aromanian village of Avdella, in the Ottoman vilayet of Monastir. It depicts the Manaki's aunts and 114-year-old grandmother Despina spinning and weaving.[2][3][4] It was originally called "Our 114-year-old grandmother at work weaving", but has come to be known as The Weavers.[5]

It is considered to be the first ever film to be shot in the Ottoman Balkans as a whole.[6]

The film was shot with 35 mm film with an Urban Bioscope movie camera (serial number 300) imported from London.[6]


An extract from the film appears at the beginning of Theo Angelopoulos's 1995 film Ulysses' Gaze.



  • Greece in modern times: an annotated bibliography of works published in English in twenty-two academic disciplines during the twentieth century, 1:109
  • Katerina Zacharia, "'Reel' Hellenisms: Perceptions of Greece in Greek Cinema" in Katerina Zacharia, Hellenisms, p. 323