My Lake – Synopsis


KRISTO lives with his aging GRANDPARENTS in a village on the edge of Lake Prespa. Their modest livelihood depends on the remittance of Kristo’s absent parents who work and live abroad. Kristo is a sensitive and intelligent young teenager and, like all the kids in the area, a great sailor. In this forgotten part of the world, fishing is the sole source of survival. Prespa lake is positioned on the border of three Balkan countries – Albania, Macedonia and Greece – making it easy and profitable for drug traffickers to make their illegal deliveries. And Kristo is the perfect smuggler: not a child, nor a man, ambitious and without parental guidance, stuck in the poorest section of the geopolitical triangle. After a night on the job, Kristo arrives at school, deprived of sleep. His literature teacher, MIRANDA, has taken a liking to him. Kristo is also adored by his classmates since he’s the only kid in school with an expensive mobile phone. Kristo’s grandparents grow increasingly concerned with their grandson’s midnight adventures. On his nightly fishing trips, Kristo transports drugs for ISMAIL, a sneaky, aggressive outsider in the lakeside community. But what Kristo truly seeks is the adoration of PASKO, a troubled local trafficker wanted by the police for the attempted murder of two police officers. Kristo is a blessing for the criminal Pasko. Kristo dutifully becomes the eyes and ears of Pasko, bringing him homemade food and news of his mother and bride, DITKA. There are even times when, under the watchful gaze of his protective angel, Pasko makes love to Ditka by the abandoned church altar. Kristo goes to the far-off town of Korça to surprise his teacher with a fresh fish catch. With fear in their heart, Kristo’s grandparents nervously await their nephew’s return. Back in the village, Ditka discovers that she’s pregnant while Pasko’s sick mother longs to see her son once again. Border guards constantly patrol the lake, but Kristo manages to avoid them as if he were invisible. Light as a cloud, Kristo delivers drugs and a letter from Ditka to Pasko. Kristo is so caught up in his world that he doesn’t notice one of his classmates, the pretty MELA, has developed a crush on him.

A heated dispute between the neighboring drug dealers begins. During an intense confrontation, Kristo is badly beaten. Pasko bandages Kristo’s wounds. Pasko is certain that the culprit behind the violence is Ismail, eager to take control of all the drug trade on the lake. The small fishing settlement grows tense. A bloody grim-faced Kristo, bandaged with his torn t-shirt, makes a ceremonial parade through the town’s waters. The townsfolk manage to treat Kristo’s injuries but no one can fix the open wound in his soul. As a storm brews on the lake waters, Kristo smuggles Pasko into the village. Pasko’s mother is dying and wants to see her son one last time. Discovering this information, Ismail notifies the police who quietly surround Pasko’s house. A stand-off occurs as the police order Pasko to surrender. Pasko steps out into the doorway. A police sniper hits Pasko in the chest with a single bullet, killing him instantly. In shock, Pasko’s mother dies moments later. In dreadful silence, the little town holds a funeral for Pasko and his mother. An evil chill grows in the air. The cold eyes of the townsfolk challenge the police presence. Two coffins are lowered into a black pit. Kristo, full of pain and hate, disappears amid the gravestones. Life flows on in the picturesque lakeside town, but not for Kristo. Kristo stops speaking to his school friends. All he has left is his boat and a gun that he keeps close to his chest. But even after Kristo throws his gun into the water, he cannot let go of his anger and hatred. With Pasko gone, Ismail stops transporting marijuana and begins shipping the more profitable cocaine. Kristo, convinced Ismail is guilty of Pasko’s murder, provokes Ismail to take more risks in his drug dealing. From within the stony silence of the village, Kristo begins to feel a chill from his neighbors, Pasko’s widow and even from his beloved teacher, Miranda. Over time, it begins to dawn on young Kristo that he, and not Ismail, is being held responsible for Pasko’s death. For his own survival, Kristo must clear his name. Amid the growing tension, Ismail’s fishing shack is destroyed in a mysterious fire. Is it a coincidence? Ismail isn’t sure. Ismail tries to convince his suspicious business partners that he will be able to pay back the money from the drug shipment lost in the flames. With sadness, the townsfolk accompany the widow Ditka as she bids farewell to the fishing village for good. The wind blows cold as a small boat takes her to safety across the lake water. No one speaks. Out of respect and fear, Kristo avoids the eyes of the other villagers. Ditka doesn’t look back… Heavy grey clouds and anxiety reign upon the fishing town. Kristo receives a message from Ismail who has returned and is waiting for him at a cafe right in front of the school.

Two MOTORCYCLE RIDERS with black helmets open fire on Ismail. The first time they miss but then they return and their deadly mission is completed. The terrorized crowd is shocked by Ismail’s death. From the classroom window, Kristo observes the chaos with an impenetrable cool. A chilly wind sweeps across the swamp grass on the Greek part of the lake. On this windy night, Kristo lies hidden on the floor of his boat. Another boat, the Golden Fish, approaches and pulls up alongside Kristo’s tiny craft. Trembling with fear, Kristo gives THREE MEN on the other boat the cocaine packages Ismail believed had been lost in the fire. Kristo’s revenge is complete. Back on the Albanian coast, young NIKO, Kristo’s classmate, waits for Kristo by a cozy fire. The two boys celebrate by jumping around the fire as their tribal ancestors did once upon a time. They throw the money up into the air as the dawn sky breaks in hues of red and gold. A few hours later, we are back in Miranda’s quiet classroom. At his desk, the weary Kristo is writing an essay which begins with the words: “The lake can give you everything, if you just know how to ask for it…”