Eleni (1985) - full transcript

Nick is a writer in New York when he gets posted to a bureau in Greece. He has waited 30 years for this. He wants to know why his mother was killed in the civil war years earlier. In a parallel plot line we see Nick as a young boy and his family as they struggle to survive in the occupied Greek hillside. The plot lines converge as Nick's investigations bring him closer to the answers.



(MAN) I don't know the names.

- And are you going back?
- Maybe.

What crimes did you commit
during the war?

I thought we weren't going
to talk about that.

You don't have anything to worry about.
You can't be prosecuted, so why not?

What crimes did you commit
during the war?

They weren't crimes
when I committed them.

They became crimes
when we lost the war.

- Larry would like to see you, Nick.
- Can it wait?

Why? What's up?

- You got the job.
- In Athens?

But you didn't hear it from me, OK?

Hear what?


(TV) The magic number is eight.
Any combination of eight wins...

- Dad?
- ...and the Sox win the Eastern Division.

Now turning to basketball. Last night
the Celtics won over the Rockets.

A strong performance by Larry Bird...


Dad, if you always fall asleep
during the news, you'll never keep up.

I know, but if I stay awake for the news,

I get so upset at what I hear,
I can't sleep at night.

I'll make some coffee.

My grandson's birthdays coming up.

Does he want a bicycle?

I don't know.

He's a big boy. Nine years old.

The same age as I was
when I left Greece.

And I'm now the same age
as Mother was when she was killed.

- I got that job in Athens.
- But you promised Eleni.

Didn't she make you promise
that you'd never go back?


Yes, I promised.

I want to know why they tortured her,
why they killed her.

What it was like
to suffer the way she did.

Why do you want to know that?

Because I can't think of anything else.

Sometimes people say things
before they're killed or about to die,

and I want to know
what her last words were.


- Why now, all of a sudden?
- Things are converging.

You should forget these things.

I tried.

But there is one thing I can't forget,

this wonderful legal invention
called the statute of limitations.

After a certain amount of time,
you're absolved of all your crimes.

You committed atrocities during the war.

If you wait long enough, as if by magic,
you become innocent again.

In Greece,
you wait 30 years for innocence.

Thirty years are up.

The murderers, hiding in other countries,
are free to go back now.

The man responsible for my mother's
death could be innocent now.

And I sit here drinking coffee.

Nikki, you have waited
all this time for that?


No pencils. Nick, is that you?




- Hey!

Thank you.

Dear Mother of God,
we thank you for these blessings.

Dear Mother...



There you go. One, two, three...

- on!
- Bad luck. It's $2,000.




Christ is risen!

Indeed He is risen.

- Christ is risen.
- Indeed He is risen.

- Does Father know that the war is over?
- Of course he knows.

- (MAN) Christ is risen!
- Indeed He is risen.

You said when the war was over
he'd write to tell us when he's coming.

You said by Easter we'd get a letter.

The war, the bombs,

they destroyed all the post offices.

The ships that carry the letters
across the sea were sunk.

All these things take time to rebuild.

Like our schoolhouse.

It just takes time.


Christ is risen, cousin.



You're old enough
to stand with the men now.

Go on.







Are you all right?

No, I'm not.

Your father called me
after you left the house today.

I thought he might.

He thinks I have some influence
over you, being your wife and all.

Don't give me that look!
How am I supposed to understand?

I don't want to argue with you.

Why do you have to go back?
We can work it out together here.

Here is not the problem.

What are you going to do in Athens?

What I normally do. I report stories.

- What stories?
- All kinds.

Yeah, about former Civil War criminals
returning after 30...

I'm aware of that.

Maybe they're all dead.

Gosh, I hope not.

If they aren't, what will you do
with these old men?

Probe them a bit,
ask them a few questions.

- What if they don't answer?
- Then I'll rephrase the question.

Nick, is it a requirement of being
a bureau chief in Athens to carry a gun?

Is it?

It used to be in the study,
then it disappeared. Where is it?

Is that how you'll ask questions,
with a gun?

No, you're a reporter, you don't have
to answer questions, just ask them.

- Nick, I know about your mother...
- I don't think you do.

You want to ruin everything over
something from some 30 years ago?

"Some 30 years ago"? "Some"?

People don't get murdered
at "some" point in time.

It wasn't "some" to her.

It was a specific year,
month, day, hour, minute.

A specific second
when the trigger was pulled.

Even then she was alive
until a split second later.

The bullet ended her life.

It wasn't "some" to her.

Not "some" at all.

Before there was England,
there was Greece.

Before there was America,
there was Greece.

And long before Greece
was a monarchy,

W6 WGFG a democracy.

What is another name for a democracy?

- Republic.
- That's right.

And the Union of Soviet
Socialist Republics

is a democracy.

In a democracy,
all of us play an important part.


We pass laws.

And we obey them.

If you went home after school,

the doors were closed and your parents
wouldn't let you inside ever again,

could you still believe
they really loved you?


No. Well, the King,
from inside his palace,

says he loves his people.

(l\/IAN) Spiro!



Where's your teacher?

You, that way! Go that way!


- Good evening, Eleni.
- Good evening, Katina.

The government militia is arresting
all the communists.

- Spiro is my cousin.
- I know that.

I'd hide him in my house,
but that'd be the first place they'd look.

- Sol beg you...
- And if they find him here?

They won't search your house.

Your father's a monarchist,
your husband's in America.

Everyone knows
where your sympathies lie.

My Sympathies?

I have no sympathies, as you call them.

Then I seek refuge in the only
neutral house in all of Greece.

You'll have to stay in the cellar.
I have grown daughters, you understand.

I'm sorry you're in trouble, Spiro.

But I do enjoy this sneaking around
at night. It makes me feel young!

Give me a kiss, cousin.

Be careful, Eleni.

He kisses very nice.

I'm a teacher, Eleni.

I'm not a revolutionary.

They're turning me into one because
I want to teach that everyone is a king.

And a king is just another human being.

What's wrong with that?

I don't know. Please.

Thank you, Eleni.


How did you find out about me?
I've only been here a week.

It will only take a few minutes.
It's a wonderful story.

A Greek boy goes to America, he returns
as the "New York Times" bureau chief

to write about his native land.

It would make me happy
if you'd appear with me on TV.

Well, in that case...



- Nikola!
- Yes!

He's alive! Your father is alive!

America! We're going to America!




- Can I go, Mana?
- Whoa.

Yes, go on.

(ELENI) Georgia...

Ana, for the baby.

Open m

- Open it!
- Where's she going?

- What was that?
- Probably dollars.

There's no telling
how many in one envelope.

"My dear wife,

"my dearest daughters,

"and you, Nikola,

"my son whom I have not seen..."


"Business was good, then it was bad,
and soon I think it will be good again.

"L will start looking
for a house for us all.

"L have become a citizen of America..."

- (ELENI) Imagine that!
- He's not Greek any more?

It says,
"l have become a citizen of America.

"L am no longer a foreigner

"and I can now vote for President
and Mayor of New York.

"Eleni, my beautiful and loving wife,

"take good care of our children while
I work and save money for our home.

"All of you live in my heart.

"And soon I hope to see and embrace...

"...and embrace each one of you.

"L kiss your eyes
and those of my angel children.

"L, your loving husband, write this."

How will I speak to Father
when we go to America?

What do you mean?

I'm worried.

He's been there a long time,
and maybe he only speaks American.

- Maybe he forgot Greek.
- No, I wouldn't worry about that.

I think we should go there soon,
just in case.

Why don't we surprise him?
"Hello, Father, here we all are!"


It's a long way, you know.
It's across the ocean.

You have to have an invitation.

When you get to America, they say,
"Who invited you to come?"

Like to a wedding.

But if he loves us,
why doesn't he send us an invitation?

Because he's saving all his money
to build us a fine house

with enough rooms for everybody.

I know the problem:
there's too many of us.

- You have too many children.
- No.

I need all my children.

But when we go to America,

will Father call you
"my beautiful and loving wife"?

- What, like in the letter?
- Yes.

Well, I hope so.

Maybe you will only love him.

And you won't love me any more.


I will always love you.




Hey, Nick, here it is.

I never forget a funeral.
He died of cancer a few months ago.

- Did you know him?
- Yeah, he was my school teacher.

- Is this a coincidence or what?
- What?

All these dudes were Civil War criminals.

I'm thinking about doing an article
on their return to Greece.

Oh, yeah? I already did that story.

It's been out for a while.
You haven't read it?


- Yeah? What was wrong with it?
- Too general.

- Too general for whom?
- For me.

- Were you really born in Greece?
- Yes.

That explains your sunny
Mediterranean personality!

This guy insists on talking to you, Nick.
He saw you on TV.

That's great. The bureau chief of
the "New York Times" is a TV personality.

Lay off. Who is it?

He says you grew up together.
His name's Antoni Makos.



This is my old friend,
Nikola Gatzoyiannis.


We grew up in the same village.

We used to have sword fights,
remember, Nikola?

We saw our first aeroplane together.

And now he's an American.


I thought we were going to talk
about old times.

These are old times. I didn't know you'd
seen my mother when I came here.

I'm sorry I mentioned it.

Go on. You said you were drinking
water at the spring.

She looked at me, you know, in that way.

What way?

(AN TONI) You know what children
meant to our mothers.

They see a boy who's not even theirs
and they look at him in that way.

That's how she...

You're an educated man.

Why do you think
our mothers loved us so much?

I have children of my own,
but I find it hard to...

Do you have children?

Did my mother say anything to you?


- Do you go to Lia often?
- I don't go back now.

I went back once a few years ago.
Spent the night in loannina.

- I saw that man.
- What man?

That guerrilla who led the prisoners
to the execution site.

- Are you sure it was him?
- He said he was stationed in our village.

Do you know his name?

Tasso Levendis.
He didn't remember me.

Does he still live in loannina?

Don't know.

When I saw him,
he was in a bar, pimping,

offering me women.





The government is warning
all the people in this area

that we can no longer protect you.

Communist guerrillas are advancing.
Civil war has begun.

Father, what should I do?

You? What are you afraid of?
You're a woman!

It's me they'll kill first.
They know I'm for the King.

Long live the King.


- Mother, should we go to loannina?
- Who'll look after your home?

- It's your duty to look after your home.
- Yes, but my children...

These aren't Germans,
Turks or Albanians.

They're our own people.
They won't harm women and children.


- Lukas, are you staying?
- Yes.

My wife has convinced me
I'm too worthless for the communists.

If they kill me,
it'll prove how wrong she is!

It's finally come to this.

We've been invaded by everybody.
Now we're being invaded by ourselves.

Go. Go quickly.

(ECHOES) People of Lia!

People of Lia!

You have nothing to be afraid of!

We have come to liberate you...

...in the name of the new Greece!

Everybody in the house.



Everybody out! Out!

- Come on, Mother.
- Come on!

We won't see you in any harm.


Everybody outside!

Spiro. Thank God it's you.

Major Spiro Skevis,
Democratic Army of Greece.

I have the honour to inform you
this village has been liberated.

Your house has been chosen
to be the HQ of the Army of Liberation.

You'll be out of the house
by tomorrow morning.

But Spiro, don't you remember
when Katina brought you here?

I remember.

Be out of the house
by tomorrow, Americana.


It's only a house.

It's just stone and mortar.

And wood and glass.

All of you were born here
and so that makes it special.

Memories make it special.

But we can take those wherever we go.

Some day,

we'll all be together like this,
all packed and ready.

And instead of moving to Grandmother's,
we'll be leaving across the ocean

where your father is waiting for us.

It will feel just like this.

We'll take our belongings
and our memories,

and we'll leave this house for ever.

But we won't be sad,
because we'll all be together.

That's what's important.

We mustn't be sad tomorrow.

Take 'em in there!

Animals and food stay behind.

I have a family to feed.

I have an army to feed.

Anyone hiding food will be shot.
Those are our orders.

- I will obey your orders.
- Mana, what will we eat?

One thing more, Americana!

All your able-bodied men have fled.

I need soldiers.

Each household will volunteer their
eldest daughter to fight for the army.

Olga, you will have the privilege.


Major Skevis,
I gave you my house and food.

But Olga knows nothing about fighting.
Please, I beg you.

We will teach her. You've two days
together, then she's ours.

- Mana...
- Sh!

We're at war and those are orders.

Anyone who disobeys will be
dealt with accordingly. Understood?

We will obey your orders.


Mana, don't let them take me away...!

What do you think I can do?


They had to do this in the old days.

The Ottoman Turks came
gathering all the boys for their armies.

To save them,
their mothers cut off their fingers.

Sometimes they gouged out
one of their eyes.

I won't be a cripple, will I?
I'll never marry if...


No, Mana!

Where is your husband, Mother?

Where is my father?

Where is her father and my husband?
Where are our men?

Have I been told lies all my life?

Eleni! You're a woman,
you're forgetting your place!

Is this my place, Mother,
to torture my own child?

Is it my place to stay behind?

Always to stay behind
when our men run off?

In return for what?



They put me in charge
of food supply, so I...

- How could you?
- They were going to take her!

They? What they?

- I've tried to save my child!
- These are our own people.

Don't! My child...

Yes. But not some animal to be hobbled.

Get out! Take your food
and your advice and get out!


Olga Gatzoyiannis is requested to join
the People's Democratic Army.

Major Skevis...please.

My daughter is so clumsy,
she spilled boiling water on her leg.

She can hardly stand.

Remove the bandages.

You should teach your daughter
to be more careful, Americana.

All unmarried girls over 15 may
join the People's Democratic Army.

Have your daughter Glykeria
prepare to leave.

And be careful, Americana,
no more accidents.




You must be the famous
Tasso Levendis.

I hear that if you want a woman
you're the man to see.

I know some women, yes.

Money's no object.

I know a lot of women.

Let's get in my car and take a drive.

You have a car.

- You've missed a turn there.
- I want to go home first for more money.


Where's your home?

A little village called Lia.

Lia? Are you crazy?
It's over 50 kilometres from here!

You know the place?
You've been there before?

Hey, what's going on?

Who the hell are you?

I wouldn't do that if I were you,
unless you want to bounce.


- I saw that man.
- What man?

That guerrilla who led the prisoners
to the execution site.

- Are you sure it was him?
- I really wasn't.

So l talked to him and he said
he was stationed in our village.

Do you know his name?

Tasso Levendis.

Get out.



I was not on the execution squad.
I just brought the prisoners to the site.

Your mother had a trial.
The judge ordered her confession.

The judge sentenced her to death.
It was legal!

- She was tortured.
- Torture, too, was legal!

- Who gave the order?
- The same judge.

- His name?
- His revolutionary name was Katis.

- I don't know his name!
- Where is he?

I don't even know if he's alive!

- Where did he hide after the war?
- Czechoslovakia, when we lost the war.

Some people from your village
went with us.

- Where in Czechoslovakia?
- Bratislava!


It's too late!
Even if you find him, you won't find him.

You'll find an old man
who used to be Katis.

Just like you found me, an old pimp,
who used to be a soldier!

If you live long enough,
it seems you cease to exist!

You're too late!

We're all dead and gone!

(MAN) One, two, three, four...

(WOMAN) One, two, three, four...

(WOMAN) Quicker! Quicker!

(WOMAN) ...three, four...



Who are you?

Eleni Gatzoyiannis,
wife of Christos, from Lia.

- Come with us, you're saved.
- I can't. My children.

No! No! My children!

These people you're looking for,
they're relatives?

Well, relatives and friends
from my village.

I've been told that they fled here
after the Greek Civil War.

Yes, we have many Greeks living here.

Too many.

First, we kept the records in order,
but as you can see...

If you find any relatives,
take them with you.





Go ahead.


Move on!




I welcome you in the name
of the Democratic Army of Greece.

Mothers of Lia,

your children are in danger.

The fascist government's attacks
on your village will continue.

If your children are not killed
by bombs or bullets...

they'll die slowly from starvation.

What little food we have left
has to be rationed out to our fighters.

But...because of
the party's great concern

and love for your children,

our leaders have found
a way to save them.

We've called you all here today
to announce

that the People's Democracies
of Albania and Czechoslovakia

have opened their arms to your children.

They will take them,
care for them, feed them well.

And educate them to become
lawyers, doctors, engineers.

Whatever their talents permit.

And when the civil war is over
and the red flag flies,

they will come back to you,

tall, healthy, happy.

Ready to take their place
in the new Greece.

Who will be the first
to volunteer her children?

Who will be the first?

Katina, for the love of God!

We have our first patriotic mother.

Katina Skevis.

You wish to volunteer, Comrade Skevis?


I would like to volunteer some advice

to you, Mr Comrade-In-A-Blue-Suit.

My husband died in the war,
fighting for your cause.

I carried on the dream
he whispered to me once in the night

of a better life for my children.

My children.

Not yours.

Not the party's.

Not the People's Democracies
of Albania or anywhere.


No mother will give up her children.

There are no volunteers...here.




Mothers of Lia,

you know your children are hungry.

Your children can eat like this...

...every daw-

...if you let them go.

Any child who steps forward
at this moment...

...can have as much bread and
marmalade as he or she can eat.

- Mana, I'm so hungry.
- No.

Left the country. Albania.


Left the country. Soviet Union.

She's still here.
Not as pretty as she was in the picture.


Left the country.


It doesn't say.

- When?
- It doesn't say.

- Was he a friend or a relative?
- A friend of the family.

It says here he had no identification
on him. What was his full name?

I just remember him by Katis.

He's probably dead.

I'm going off duty.

If you want, I can tell you
where to find that woman.


I'm looking for Ana Katroubis.

Who are you?

Nick...Nikola Gatzoyiannis.

- Eleni's son?
- Yes.

What do you want from me?

You must know I didn't do it on purpose.

I was forced to testify against
your mother. You must know that.

Yes, l...l knew that.

I didn't come here
to blame you for anything.

I did it to save my son.

The judge, he told me I had to join
the guerrillas, to be a soldier.

My baby would have died.
There was nobody to look after him.

So I sinned against my soul
to save my child.

I understand that you had no choice.

The judge, what was his name?

- Stavros Petrakis.
- He called himself Katis at the time.

The officials at the bureau told me
that he had died a few years ago.

They don't know anything.
He's back in Greece!

We're too ashamed to return,
but he's not?

Where in Greece is he?

Where in Greece is he?


Mana! Mana!

Mana! Mana! Mana!






They said "volunteers".

We can only hope and pray.

We must do more than hope, Mother.

- If we do as we're told...
- No!

Mother, you've brought me up
the best way you knew how.

- The way I was raised.
- Yes.

To obey and to know my place
and never to complain.

And in all that sunshine of my life,

I have lived in the shade
of somebody else's authority.

There were flowers in my heart, Mother.

But there are some flowers
that never blossom in the shade.

It was the price I paid
to be like everyone else.

I didn't complain,
and I'm not complaining now.

But I am saying, "No more."

They took our food.

They took my home.

They took my dignity.

And I gave in at every turn.

But I will not give them my children.

They will not take them from me.

Escape? Are you mad? With children?

- There are guards and landmines!
- You know where the mines are.

You know where the guards are.

They've taken my Glykeria already.
I can't just wait.

If we get caught, they'll kill us.

If they take my children,
it'll be worse than dying.

He doesn't understand. He's a man.

Suddenly I'm promoted! I'm a man!

- When were you planning?
- Tomorrow night.

- I'm getting a headache.
- There's no time to lose.

They might come for the children
at any moment.

- Everyone would respect you.
- Please.

No respect.
In Greece, only the dead are respected.


Mana, soldiers are coming!

Somebody betrayed us.

We need a woman from your household
for a work detail.

Yes, I'll come!

Not now.
We're rounding everybody up first.

Bring extra clothing
for three to four weeks.

No, I can't!

We leave in an hour. That's an order!

They only want a woman to work.
I'll go in your place.

They wouldn't take you, Mother,
you're too old.

Oh, why now? Why today?

We'll take care of everything
while you're gone.

- When you come back...
- ...you'll be far away!

You're all leaving tonight
just as we planned!

Listen to me. We can't wait.
Three or four weeks is a long time.

They could come
for Nikola or Fotini any day.


listen to me.

You are the oldest,
you must take my place.

When you are safe, write to your father
and tell him what has happened.

He will find a way to send for you.
He loves you.

- Not like you, Mana.
- I'll be all right.

It may be better this way.
I can help Glykeria escape.

Then the two of us
will join you in America. We will!

Come quickly!

Gather round me
while we still have time.

Sit down.

Come on, sit down.

You have never seen the sea.

It's beautiful.

It's big and blue and endless as the sky.

It makes you dream to look at it.

And so you will dream of a new life
in your new home,

and when you wake up,

it will be there.

You stay here.

Don't let them see you cry.

My children...

...l bless you all.

You must go away
and you must never come back.

Do you understand me?

Yes, Mana.

Here, take this.

When you are safe, throw it behind you.

When you throw a black stone,
it means you will never return.

Promise me you will do this.

I promise.

Kiss me this one time.

My heart and blood.



- You got a cigarette?
- No.

Oh, all right.


(NICK) Dear Joan, I'm sorry
I haven't called or written.

My dear Joan... My dear...children.

Dear family...
I am back in my grandmother's house.

I took my last walk
with my mother from here.

Out the door and up the hill.

She held my hand and made me
promise I'd never come back.

We'd planned our escape here,
and I've only just realised something.

Escape routes exist
when you're a child.

All kinds of escape routes are possible.

Then, when you grow up, they vanish,
and you have to live without them.

Anyway, lkiss your eyes
and those of my darling children.

Your husband sends these words.


(IN GREEK) I'm looking
for Eleni Gatzoyiannis.


All the relatives of the escaped
have been locked up.

Except for Eleni Gatzoyiannis.

- The Americana?
- Yes, sir.

This soldier allowed them to escape?

Their escape route went past his post.
He stood on one of our mines.

Lock him up.
Don't give medicine to traitors.


He was wounded while in pursuit.

Peasants and children!

Our army can be outwitted
by peasants and children?

If so, the word of this escape
will inspire others in this territory.

He was a collaborator. He was bribed
by the Americana and her dollars.

He was wounded while trying to escape.

Please, get me a signed confession
to that effect.

We're going to have a trial, Americana.

And at that trial,
in front of all the people,

you're going to confess your crimes.

What crimes? What have I done?

You collaborated with the enemy.

You transmitted vital military information.


All I did was to help my children escape.
That's all.


This is a liberated village.

What were they escaping from?

Your village is loyal to our cause.

I have sent reports to my superiors
stating that loyalty.

How am I going to explain this escape
to my superiors?

- Hm?
- I don't know.




- Citizens of Lia!
- Sh!

For some time now,

there's been a fascist organisation
in existence in your own village.

I am happy to inform you

that thanks to the vigilance
of our guerrilla intelligence,

this organisation has been uncovered.

The criminals before you

have endangered all our lives

by passing on vital military information
to the enemy

with the 20 traitors
who fled from Lia.

All of you must abhor their treachery.

There they are.

Andreas Mikopoulos.

Spiridon Mikopoulos.

Vasili Nikou.

Alexo Gatzoyiannis.

Elias Gratos.

Eleni Gatzoyiannis.

The Americana!

She was never one of you.

How many of you
had packages from America?

While you starved, she feasted.

While you worked, she plotted.


you are charged
with organising the escape

and trying to bribe the citizens of Lia
with your American money.

That's not true.

I have done nothing wrong.


I have done no harm.

And I have wished no harm to anyone.

All I wanted was for my children
to be safe with their father.

By refusing to send her children
to socialist countries,

she betrayed the goals of our revolution.

By sending them to fascists,
she betrayed us all.

Who will speak in her defence?


It is against the law to withhold
information of guilt or innocence.

So I ask, if any of you have proof
of the Americana's innocence or guilt,

step forward now and speak.

We have a witness. Comrade Katroubis.

Yes, I have something to say.

She, Eleni Gatzoyiannis...


...the Americana, she tried to bribe me
with her American dollars

to turn against you
and join the fascist cause.

- Ana...
- You did, you tried to bribe me.

But I wouldn't do it.

I wouldn't do it.

Katis, the children are leaving.

Citizens of Lia,

our children are about to leave
for Albania and Czechoslovakia.

We will take a short pause
in the proceedings of this trial,

in order to permit their parents
to say goodbye.




Citizens of Lia,

the People's Court, having found
the accused guilty of treason,

is now ready to pass sentence.

Andreas Mikopoulos,

- death by firing squad.

Vasili Nikou,

death by firing squad.

Eleni Gatzoyiannis,

death by firing squad.

Spiro, when do we die?

Tomorrow morning.

Do you know where my daughter is?

Can I see her?

One last time?

(SOLDIER) You, move!

Please, Spiro.

Open up.

- Glykeria!
- Mana.


- Sh...!

Sh! Don't cry.

Don't cry.

Oh, look, they've cut your hair.

Never mind, it will grow back.

It's been hard for you, I know.

- But you must be strong.
- Mana!



you must live.

You must live.

You have something wonderful
to look forward to.

Some day,

you will marry
and have children of your own.

It is such a joy...

...to be a mother.

It is such a joy.

And I thank God for letting me know it.

Go now.

Don't wait for them to separate us.

Goodbye, my child.

May you live for me
as long as the mountains.




My children!


(ECHOES) My children!

- Those were her last words?
- "My children."

I was hidden over there. I saw her.


The judge, what was his name?

(ANA) Stavros Petrakis.

He called himself Katis at the time.

(NICK) The officials at the bureau told
me that he had died a few years ago.

(ANA) They don't know anything.

(ANA) He's back in Greece!

(ANA) We're too ashamed to return,
but he's not?

(NICK) Where in Greece is he?

Where in Greece is he?

(ANA) In the town.


Yes? Can I help you?

I think I have the wrong address.

I am looking for Stavros Petrakis.

I'm his wife.
ls it about the pension?

No. My name is Nick Gage,
"New York Times".

I have an appointment
with your husband.

Appointment? He didn't say anything...

Come in. You shouldn't open
the door by yourself! I told you before!

- There's a man from New York.
- What?

A man from New York. He says
he has an appointment with you.

My wife says that
we've got an appointment of some kind.

My name is Nick Gage,
"New York Times".

"New York Times"?

You didn't say "New York Times",
you just said New York!

I'm doing an article about the evolution
of the Greek judicial system.

The Minister of Justice in Athens
suggested I speak with you.

Wait a minute!

Now I remember.

I saw you on the television.

Well, apparently there's been
a little breakdown in communications.

The Minister was supposed
to telephone you about this interview.

Sorry to bother you. I can come back
at a more convenient time.

Oh, please...

Oh...all I have these days
is convenience.

No, no, it's perfect. Please...sit down.

Go and get our guest something to eat.

Yeah, "New York Times".

Oh, look...

Let me just go and...

I was taking a little nap.

Had I known...

I'll be right back. Sit. Sit!



I'm all yours.

I've ordered that
we should not be disturbed.

I really appreciate your cooperation.

On the contrary, I'm very grateful to you.
You've made me very happy.

My wife and my daughter are sick
of my stories of the Civil War.

And you come all this way,
The "New York Times" yet.

They're in there now, plotting
how to deal with me when you leave.


Shall we start?

Testing, one, two, three.

Testing, one, two, three.

Stavros Petrakis.


Testing, one, tvvo, three.

Which side were you on
in the Civil War?

On the side of Greece, of course.

It wasn't so much a war,
you understand, as a...

No, it was a battle of ideas.

To me, Greeks have always
clung to the notion

that man's life is ruled by ideas.

And the period in question...

...it was an exhilarating time.

Wonderful bread.


You must try it.

- No, I'm not hungry.
- Please, you must.

It's fresh.
The wheat comes from my village.

You can't buy bread like this,
especially not in America.

Please, Nick.

No, no. You were born in Greece,
I shall call you Nikola.

- If you don't mind?
- No, I don't mind.

And your parents are in America?

My father is, yes.

- And your mother?
- My mother remained in Greece.

Although I've heard some
wonderful things about America,

some of our people chose to stay...

My mother didn't actually choose to stay.

She had some legal problems
during the Civil War.

There was a trial, there were witnesses,
there was a judge.

- What side was she on?
- She was on the civilian side.

Were you ever involved
in trials of civilians?

No, that's impossible.
There are no civilians in a civil war.

If you're looking for your mother,
maybe I could be of some assistance.

You see, I've got some friends...

My mother was executed.
Death by firing squad.

Her name was Eleni Gatzoyiannis.
Some called her Americana.

Do you remember her?

Remember her? I don't understand.

About 800 kilometres away from here,
there's a village called Lia.

Do you remember that village?

- Lia?
- Lia.


No, I...

I don't think that I have ever been
to a village by that name.

Some names change,
but this village is still called Lia.

You, I believe,
were called Katis at that time.



No, I was never...

I think maybe you made a big mistake.

Why are you still alive?

How can you live,
knowing what you've done?

I think you'd better leave.
I don't know what you're talking about.

I'm talking about
Eleni Gatzoyiannis, my mother.

I'm not interested in your mother!

Sit down.

Sit down.

You don't deserve to die standing up.
Sit down!

(ECHOES) My children!


Don't be afraid.

(NICK) My dear family,
I'm sending you this tape.

I'll be coming home soon.

The hunt for my mother's killer is over.

I did not inherit the necessary hate
to end a human life.

I am still mystified by the love
my mother felt for me and my sisters.

The question of being worth it or not
is no longer applicable.

I accept it as something she gave me.

I accept her love as my inheritance.

Imiss you and I love you.

I miss and love my children.

Ihope with all my heart

the love I've discovered
is not for mothers alone.

I want to feel it, too.

Ihave a need to feel it.

To share the inheritance my mother
left me with you and my children.

I know that
they are not just my children.

I know that they are ours.

I may be late
in returning home to claim them,

but I hope you can understand
my need to say those words.

My children.

englisg sdh