“Kalymnos” depicts the life and hardships of the inhabitants of this island of the Dodecanese, in the Mediterranean. The film describes the islanders’ struggle to earn a living by diving for sponges in the sea’s depths. This hard and dangerous occupation turns many of them into invalids, while many lose their lives, leaving behind them bereaved relatives, −eldery parents, wives and children− dressed in black.
It also shows the commercial side of the sponge trade, which is the island’s main source of income.
The film ends with the traditional festivities which mark the annual sailing of the sponge divers’ fleet. This festive farewell masks the sadness of parting with their loved ones, who will be diving in distant waters for as long as 6 to 7 months.