Smyrna (2021) - full transcript

The historical incidents and facts that preceded and occurred during the occupation of Smyrna in 1922 by the Turkish army, including the massacre of the local Greek and Armenian population, are recounted through the lives of the Baltatzis family members. - stop by if you're interested in the nutritional composition of food
LESVOS, 2015

Let's go to the hotel.
We shouldn't be here.

This is exactly
where I should be!

It's dangerous
and you should not be seeing this.

I have to see this!

You are all good...

Stand up, very brave girl.

You can go.

Thank you.
You have been very generous.

Your contribution will make
a big difference.

But you didn't have to come in person
all the way from New York.

I had to.

I was born here.

In Mytilene.

My family name is Baltatzis.

Now I get it.

Come quick. More people have arrived.

Thank you, once more!

I couldn't sleep.

You can't walk around by yourself,
in the middle of the night.

- And why not?
- You're surrounded by strangers.

These are not strangers.

I see my mother and my father
in their faces.

You've never talked much
about your parents.

My mother and father were refuges.

Like these.

The came here to Mytilene, in 1922.

And the people of this island
were good to them.

Why don't you talk about it?

I thought these things were over.

I thought the past, was past!

And I was wrong.

It's happening again.

My mother used to bring us
to this very spot.

She wanted us to look across the sea,
to the shore.

Can you see those lights over there?

That's were my mother came from.

- Isn't that Turkey?
- It is now.

But once it was Ionia.

Once it was Asia Minor.

Before Homer, before history.

And at its center...

was the most beautiful orient city.



I want you to have this.

My grandma gave it to me.

She was a great lady, Filio.

I was named after her.


from Smyrna.

It's a recipe book.

She pretended
it was a recipe book.

But really, it's a diary.

Read it.

It'll make you realize...

who and where you are from.

I realize now,
it would be a sin...

our sin...

to forget.

Smyrna, 26th of October, 1916.

It's St. Dimitrios' day,
bless his holy name...

and the street market's
as noisy as ever.

That never bothered me.
I was born and raised here.

That's how Smyrna always was;
Loud, enticing and cosmopolitan.

We're celebrating my husband,
Dimitrakis', name-day today...

and I'll make him baklava
and all his favourite treats.

- Good morning.
- Good morning, madam.

- How are you?
- Fine, you?

- Great. Your family?
- Fine, thank you.

- Goodbye.
- Goodbye, madam.

Happy name-day
to Dimitrakis, Madam Filio.

Thank you, Iordanis!
You always remember us!

- God bless you.
- Thank you.

Come, Zacharoula.

Hello, Artin.

Hello, Madam Filio.

- These here?
- Yes, yes.

Madam Filio, where are you going?

To the Turkish quarter.

That's where you find the best spices,

We always go there.

- Good morning.
- Good morning.

- Spare some change?
- Change, right?

- Quiet, here.
- Thank you.

Good morning.

- Good morning, Hasan.
- Good morning, madam.

- Clove?
- Sure.

- Some cumin?
- Right away.

Zacharoula, look.
They have the best stuff here.


You mustn't walk around this quarter
all by yourself. It isn't safe.

I've always felt safe in Smyrna.

Times have changed.

Hear ye, hear ye!

The greatest tenor
of the world comes to Smyrna!

The famous tenor comes to Smyrna!

Thank you, Halil.

- Good morning, father.
- Good morning, my son.

- The master?
- He's at the factory.

I wanted to check on lady Filio,
if she needs anything for tonight.

Where on earth are you, silly girl?


Bring me the almonds
to grate for the baklava.

Allah didn't take my soul.
He didn't...

Allah didn't take my soul.

He didn't...

On credit...

Good morning,
look what I brought, Eftalia.

- Stop! I'm not in the mood.

We'll end up with only halva tonight.

Be quiet.

What's all this shouting?
What's going on here?

Haven't you finished the baklava yet?

I'm just about to, my lady.
Zacharoula is bringing the almonds.

And then...

What will I do now? God!

They'll sack me.
I'll end up on the street.

Maybe you'll feel more at home there.


Excellent quality. But, expensive.

Our army needs huge quantities.

Being at a war for two years,
builds an appetite.

Of course.

And who knows,
when this war will be over.

Germany and Turkey are invincible.

Unless Greece enters the war.

They say, it has the strongest army
in the Balkans.

Mister Baltatzis...

for the sake of all the Greeks
who live in Turkey...

let us hope
that Greece remains neutral.

Let's discuss prices now.

I have always liked to celebrate
this day with the people close to us.

With our children, relatives
and the servants, as they are called.

But for me, they are not servants at all.

They are part of the family.

- Is everything ready?
- Of course.

Good. The table looks lovely...

Zacharoula, is that where we place
the wine glasses?

Why? Will the wine taste different,
if the glass is on the left?

No, it's the house that's different,
if it is on the wrong side.

will you ever do anything right?

She'll learn everything, madam.

When? Will I live long enough to see it?

- You will.
- That makes me feel better.

- My sweet Filio.
- Daddy.

What delicacies
have you prepared for tonight?

Everything you can think of.

Kidonato, hunkar beyerdi,
broiled oysters, soutzoukakia.

We'll stretch our stomachs!

You don't need to stuff yourself,
do you?

You'll end up looking like a barrel.
We have plenty of those at the cellar.

You know how a barrels rolls...

- You look beautiful.
- Welcome.


Happy name-day! Cheers!

- Happy name-day, father.
- Happy name-day, darling.

My brother, happy name-day.

Sorry I'm late but I had to deal with
a German officer about a large order.

- I couldn't leave.
- Germans are the best customers.

I hope they win the war
and settle in Smyrna forever.

Good gracious, God forbid.

Shall we go through?
We can continue over dinner. Come on.

Tomorrow night at eight, at Kadir's.

Where is that wine?
Are you bringing it from the vineyard?

- Not for me, s'il vous plaît.
- S'il vous plaît.

She's a Levantine now?

Come on, father.
Don't tease her.

We were with some Levantines yesterday,
the Girauds of Oriental Carpets.

- We shared a table with our Governor.
- Rahmi Bey.

Guess what he said to me.

"I know that you're secretly helping
Venizelos and the Entente Powers,

our enemies,
but I will keep protecting you".

Of course my Spiros replied
"No, we are neutral".

Neutral, brother?

- We are on our country's side.
- Tell me, how was my hunkar?

Don't worry dear, we're not arguing.

There's no need for diplomacy here.

We're Greeks
and we side with our homeland.

Asia Minor is our homeland, brother.
We are Ottoman citizens.

What do we stand to gain...

if we support Greece
and damned Venizelos?

- But it's not only about gaining.
- It's only about gaining, my boy.

- Why should we put ourselves in danger?
- Why? Who would harm Smyrna, Spiros?

The port is full of merchant ships.
English, French and Italian.

They're protecting us.

The British are shelling
the Turkish quarter again.


Thank you.

- Not sure it's going to be good news.
- Your ambassador likes him.

That's my point.

The ambassador is waiting for you.

William Dawson.
Nice to meet you, sir.

George Horton.
My wife, Katina.

Welcome to Smyrna
mister vice-consul.



We've been, anxiously,
waiting your arrival, as you can see.

- All this chaos.
- I was a bit worried.

Come in.

The British want
to frighten the Turks a little.

They never hit anything...
Thank you.

Our ambassador...

admiral Bristol,
has informed me about all that.

But, isn't it a bit dangerous?

This city has
a large number of Europeans.

Yes, they are mostly British,
Italian and French.

We call them Levantines.

Their countries are at war,
with Turkey, as you know...

They'd never harm their own nationals.
They give a show now and there.

That is a very,
complicated situation.

Everything is complicated in Smyrna.


Come pour me some wine.

Come and have some hunkar,
it's your favourite.

Come and eat.

I'm not eating their leftovers.

Have you lost your mind?

Those Young Turks
have messed with your head.

Why, father?

We'll be building a new Turkey.

A Turkey that will belong only
to us, the Turks.

Listen, in this city,
we're not just Turks.

We're all Smyrniots.

Yes, but we have
to wipe the dirt from their feet.

Father, just wait and see...

what's gonna happen
to those who help the Greeks.

And Master Dimitrakis is one of them.

Shame on you!

The master is a good man.

He can't be a master
and good altogether.

What are you talking about?

They put you through school.

To make me their chauffeur.

School isn't good for us.

You should only see as far as
your own candlelight can reach.

Old sayings, old brains.

Sound brains.

Be careful, Halil!

You cannot keep looking
at Madam Filio the way you do.

She is not one
of your hanum girlfriends.

Isn't she? We grew up together.

So many of our girls
have their eyes on you, but you...



Smyrna, 1916.

I've been worried
about my husband for a while now.

We are not like we used to be.

It's not that I don't trust him.

But he is always disappearing
and messing around with politics.

He never tells me anything.

He believes that women
know nothing about those things.

That we're only meant to look after
the house and the children.

Sometimes I feel like I could burst.

Mama, aren't we leaving yet?

Just a moment, my dear.
I was writing down a recipe.

Go on down, I'm coming now.

Get your tickets!

The great Caruso
in Verdi's "Rigoletto".

Caruso! Get your tickets!

Follow him.

Halil, Halil...

You're too protective of Baltatzis.

It will get you into trouble.

I'm only doing my duty.

Your duty is to your country.

He is an enemy.

What are you talking about?
The man minds his own business.

Is that why he's always with the bishop?

Don't you worry,
he won't be doing it for much longer.

Too bad. He's a family man.

I summoned you here today,

because the news
from Greece is getting worse.

The division has put our country
in a tragic state of affairs.

Venizelos has formed his government
in Salonika.

The King is with his own in Athens.

Their supporters
are killing each other.

Our homeland is being murdered.

It's a disaster.

My dear Tsourouktsoglou.

They're about to excommunicate

He insists that Greece must enter
the war on the side of the Entente.

The King insists
on Greece's neutrality.

Maybe a small country
should stay out of the war.

If Greece doesn't join the war,
Mr. Klimanoglou,

the Allies will never win.

And we will never be reunited
with our homeland.

Only Venizelos can make
this Great Idea come true.

He can make Asia Minor Greek again.

We must keep
supporting him financially.

But, with caution.

The Turks are suspecting
that we are aiding their enemies.

Osman, bring me the Amalthia gazette.

Whatever for, my boy?

There's a World War going on, silly.

I want to see
if Greece will finally take part.

do you want to read it as well?

- Finish up and come inside.
- Of course, I'm coming.

Master Vassilakis?

Is it true that the Greeks
might come here?

Yes, indeed.
As soon as we beat the Germans, that is.

the Turks will burn us alive.

No, we will celebrate.

Tell me, Zacharoula, what do you do
when you go out to have fun?

As for me, you know,
I spend all my time out with my family.

We have a different kind of fun.
We let our hair down.

My girlfriends and I
go to the big tavernas, near St. Photini

and we dance and we sing too.

A bit of everything.

Can I come with you sometime?

I want to see
how regular folks have fun.

They have fun
because they do what they want.

No buts, no musts...

Zacharoula! Will you ever come
and clean the sardines?

You know what?

How about we go to the pastry shop first
to get some kunefe?

- Aren't you going to buy me that dress?
- No, I am not.

That is a grown woman's dress.
And you're not even seventeen yet.

You are hiding my age
so you can hide your own.

Hey, let me be!

Hello, Miss Mills.

How nice to see you.

I was going to visit you,
one of these days.

I wanted to ask
about Lefkotheas' progress.

She's an excellent student.

She could be accepted
in any university.

Good, good.

Women should be educated.
I totally agree.

I needn't convince you of that.

You speak more languages
than the tower of Babel.

You know,
maybe God had Smyrna in mind...

- when he wrote that chapter.
- God needs to keep an eye on Smyrna.

And, just to be safe, you,
need to keep an eye on Lefkothea.

I will, if you say so.

- See you soon.
- See you later.

I need to talk to you for a moment.

I needed to talk to you
and I couldn't do it at the house.

I have friends who are in Itihat
with the Young Turks.

Surely you're not one of them.

I'm not the issue here.

Master Dimitrakis is considered an

They say he's helping the Greeks.

They want to kill him.

I don't want you to be in danger.

You're exaggerating.


My beauty.

- Look what I made for you.
- Let me see.

Coffee and cookies for Madam Takui.

- Great.
- Bless you.

You'll look splendid
at the premiere of Rigoletto.

Come on, Madam Takui.
You are such a good seamstress.

And to think that a few years ago
I had all my gowns sent from Paris.

So, wear one of those
and come to the opera with us.

I have a surprise for you.
A seat in our box.

My darling, how can I come?

I don't go out in the evenings
ever since...

Caruso doesn't come to Smyrna often.

You're coming.

We had an opera house in Bursa too.

You should have seen our house,
our garden, our silverware.

All gone.

I brought you apples, madam.

Thank you, dear Osman.

Aren't you afraid
of having Turks in your house?

What are you talking about?

They are not Turks. They're family.


So were the ones who slaughtered
my husband and my children.

No. That was something else.

Those were Tchetas. Savages.

These ones were born in our houses.
They love us.

That's what we thought too, until...

I wish I'd never come here
for my niece's wedding.

I wish I had died with them.

Don't talk like that.

Every time I see a Turk,
my heart sinks in fear.

Given the opportunity,
they'll do the same here.

Calm down. Nothing will happen here.


Smyrna, 1917.

I was deeply affected by
Madam Takui's words.

But then again,
this is how all Armenians talk,

since the great massacre in '15.

They say one-and-a-half million people
were lost then.

And in Fokea, the same happened
with the Greeks, in '14.

But things are different in Smyrna.
We have always lived in harmony here.

And that can never change.

- What happened?
- He hit a high note.

He's too loud.

And he's even shorter than me.

Be quiet, father.

You need to love opera
from a young age.

Dimitris, Onassis is
in that box over there.

He got even richer lately.

Am I supposed to wave
at whoever gets rich?

Be quiet! Listen to the music.

This is a performance
we'll always remember.

And that is a tiara
I'll always remember.

Look at Lady Whittall.

Not even the Queen of England
wears diamonds like these.



- Do I know them?
- You've met several times.

The wife is nice.
You like her.

I do?

The sister-in-law was a nightmare.

- Business?
- Olive oil.

Not really our kind, dear.

Look at the Baltatzis boy
flirting with their little maid.

I'm dizzy.

You can't hold your drink.


Good evening.

- What a wonderful evening, dear Filio.
- Indeed.

It's an evening like this
that makes Smyrna irreplaceable.

Honestly there's nowhere in the world
I would rather be.

By the way, this is mr Dawson,
our new vice consul.

- It's a pleasure to meet you.
- Likewise.

- Excuse us.

Good evening.

I don't like the look of this Dawson
fellow. Why did they send him here?

- Are we a bit jealous, Dimitrakis?
- Me? Jealous of the American?

- You must be crazy.
- My dear Dimitrakis.

If you ask me, the only music
worth listening to is our own.

I only came here for your sake.

Go get the car.

I let Halil go.
We're not far from home.

That's still too far for my legs.

- But you won't see a doctor.
- I'll go to Hatcherian.

- He is a gynaecologist.
- Perfect chance for me to meet someone.

Come on, we'll drive you home.

Madam Baltatzis,
delighted to see you.

Mister Whittall, Miss Whittall.
How are you?

- Good.
- Wonderful.

- Wasn't it a wonderful opera?
- Indeed.

Are you all here?

It's just us, my father
and grandmother.

Give my regards to lady... Whittall.

Next Sunday we're throwing a ball...

For the youth.

At our estate, in Bournabat and...

I would like to invite your daughter.

- You two know each other?
- From afar.

It's an honour, but,
I have to discuss it with my husband,

Of course.

- Good night.
- Good night.

You're aiming very high, little one.

Very high.


Master Dimitrakis.

- Are you alright?
- I'm fine. Let's go.

You wanted to see me.

You were there, so you knew.

Why didn't you tell me?

I told you.

They want to kill him.

You didn't believe me.

- You are with the young Turks, then?
- I am.

They don't mean any harm to anyone.

But we cannot be slaves
in our own country.

You are free to be whatever you want.

Do you think I am free
to be whatever I want?

Your husband wants me
to drive him around.

But he'd never make me his partner.

Even if I were better than a Greek.

- Why are you talking to me in Turkish?
- That's my homeland.

- That's my mother tongue.
- What's the matter with you?

- You were not like that.
- Greeks were not like that either.

Now they want Turkey to lose the war.

Isn't that to be expected?
We are Greeks.

This land has been ours for centuries.

Used to be.

Now, it's our land.

It's all so complicated in Asia Minor.

Everybody claims it as their own.

Go and get the car. I have to go.

Kordelio, 1917.

The news from the front...

have brought clouds
over Smyrna's blue skies.

Of course,
everything goes on as usual here.

We're busy preparing angel hair
and the trahana.

And the winter desserts.

My favourite
is the one made with rose petals.

We boil a cup of sugar,
a cup of lemon juice and...

- One hundred rose petals, Madam Filio.
- Bravo. Sit down Ismini and help us.

- Good morning, Osman.
- Good morning.

- Is the syrup set?
- Let me see.

That's too much.

Why bother with all this?
I just leave it up to the servants.

What are you talking about? I love it.
I am having so much fun with my girls.



The Whittalls have invited us
to their cocktail party, at their house!

You? They have invited you, and not us?

They know you already, dear Angela.

They probably want to get
to know us, as well.

The master is here with Madam Takui.

- Vassilis, where are you going?
- To help.

You invited the seamstress here?
I don't know what to say.

So say nothing.

She doesn't even know her place.

What are you saying?
She was an aristocrat in Bursa.

- Yes, but now she's sewing for money.
- You never know how life will turn out.

The King is gone!

The allies forced him out of Athens.
Venizelos is now Prime Minister.

God bless them.

Greece is entering the war.

My love.

Venizelos, you,
the father of our homeland

Venizelos, you,
the father of our nation

Venizelos, you,
the father of our homeland

Venizelos, you,
the father of our nation

- Wait, father.
- Sit down, dad, sit down.

Stop flirting with everyone.

Why are you standing all alone?
Won't you join the other young people?

Lady Whitall.

Thank you so much,
for your kind invitation.

We are delighted that you are here.

I hear, your daughter is very bright.

- Miss Mills?
- She has her choice of university.

How fortunate!

But, wouldn't you prefer her
to get married instead?

Married? No.
Women should be educated.

You cannot rely
on a family inheritance.

You sound like a suffragette!

I'm just a housewife,
but I have dreams for my daughter.

Dinner is ready.

- They are all waiting for you.
- Dear! Please, excuse me.

I'm also just a housewife.

Which means,
if I don't do things myself...

nothing ever gets done.

The mother is of certain dignity.

It's not our money she's after,
which is even worse.

Everyone has gone to bed.
Let's go as well, my lady.

I cannot sleep tonight.

- What's on your mind, my lady?
- My children.

I am worried about Lefkothea
and the Levantine boy. About Vassilakis.

I feel that Vassilakis
is fooling around with zacharoula.

I don't think so.

He is just helping her
because he is kind. Well...

Don't stay too long, my lady.
It's humid.

Go on and I'm coming right behind you.

What are you doing here at this hour?

- I will be leaving soon.

- Where are you off
to in the middle of the night?

To Smyrna.

Take a seat, please.

Is there a girl waiting for you there?

That kind of thing is not for me.

Why not?
It's time you settled down, Halil.

You've left it long enough.
What about that Esme?

She loved you.

My mind was not on Esme.

Filio, all my friends
are joining the war.

They are volunteering.

I might never see them again.

I should have joined as well.

What are you talking about?
We had to go to Rahmi Bey.

We said you were sick.

It was someone else's war then.

Now, the Greeks have joined.

But now you are losing this war.

That's why I am ashamed
for not joining.

You have two homelands.

This one, where you were born
and the other one...

the one that you dream of, Greece.

We only have one. This one here.


We have never felt free here,
even though we had everything.

And we always felt inferior.

Why are you telling me all this?


Because you...

You have a special place in my heart.

A place that no one else can have.

Smyrna, 1918.

Autumn has its own charm.

Even though it's a busy time with
all the chores we have for winter.

Some things never change
for us women.


No matter
how much the world does.

What's all that commotion?
Something's going on out there!

Go and see, will you?

- Shall we do the figs?
- What are you waiting for?

Let me help.

Like this?

Give it here, I know how to do it.
Put the peppers in the jar.

Go on, she's right.

It's over. The war is over! We won!


Constantinople will be Greek again.

We'll get there.

Don't talk that way.
The Turks are angry now.

Onassis is right.
Things need to settle.

Everything will be settled when
Venizelos gets here with the Greeks.

The Allies have promised
to give Smyrna back to us.

Smyrna will become Greek again.

I'm sorry to disappoint you,
but that's impossible.

The Turks will react violently.

The only solution for Smyrna,
is to become autonomous.

With England as guarantor.

Asia Minor has always been Greek.

Gentlemen, calm down.

Let us not argue.

As if we needed the British
to watch over us!

Smyrna has been Greek
for three thousand years.

If you want your daughter
to marry Whittall's boy...

don't contradict him.

Who says my Lefkothea
wants to marry the Levantine boy?

The whole town says so.

And don't get too excited.
I don't trust the Allies.

Let us enjoy it, brother. Cheers.

- To Smyrna!
- To Smyrna!

Let's go!

- Let's go to the port!
- It's early, they'll be here at dawn.

You'll wait for hours.

We've waited for five hundred years,

What's a few hours more?

- Go on.
- Let's go.

Smyrna, 1919.

The dream came true.

The great leaders,
Lloyd George, Clemenceau, Wilson,

gave venizelos the order...

to send his army to Smyrna.

Blue and white flags were...

waving joyfully everywhere...

even inside us...

following the beating of our hearts.

- May you reach Constantinople!
- And Hagia Sophia!

They've gone too far.

Who knows what will happen
once the celebration is over.

No matter what happens,
we'll never forget this day.

And I remembered my grandmother saying,

"Make sure you keep
good memories alive,

should hard times come,
they'll help you survive".



It was the first time
we'd seen blood on the waterfront.

Even the rain couldn't wash it away.

They did it on purpose...

to make us look weak to the Allies.

Let's see what will happen...

now that the High Commissioner
has arrived from Greece.

I will bring peace to this city.
Even by force, if necessary.

Your Excellency, Mr. Stergiadis,
that won't be necessary.

We have been waiting for 466 years
to have a Greek Governor in Smyrna.

Let's not start with violence.

Don't expect any favors.
Turks and Greeks are the same to me.

But the Turks had a plan.

The attack on our army was not random.

And the Greeks retaliated.

To defend themselves.

You, on the other hand...

shot two of our own boys
to punish them.

Your Holliness.

You just run your Church.

I'll run the City.

We're so happy
to have you back with us!

We missed you and Smyrna so much.

The city seems to be blooming,
ever since Stergiadis got here.

It seems Venizelos was right.

The governor seems capable.

He's a diplomat.
He treats Greeks and Turks evenly.

Are you mad?

The man is terrible.

He tells the general what to do,
the bishop, what to do.

He gets involved in everything.

The bishop gets involved too
but you don't seem angry at him.

He is a patriot.
Stergiadis is not.

Excuse me.


- I'm so sorry.
- No...

How are you?


Why did he have
to join Kemal's rebels?

Why did he do such a foolish thing?

He calls Kemal a leader.
He says he will resurrect our country.

He will destroy it.

He is a nationalist, I'm telling you.

He wants to slaughter the Greeks...

so that only Turks remain here.

But our army
has been winning on all fronts.

But why, master,

is your army killing people
who live peacefully in their villages?

Not that peacefully.

Do you know how many Greeks
are found dead every day?

Our army has to march on
to protect them.

What did they expect?

That the Turks would just
sit back and take it?

The Greeks came over
to occupy our country.

They didn't just come on their own.
The Allies sent them.

Asia Minor has always been Greek.

This land has always been ours.

We used to be brothers.

My heart is aching with all this.

Come on, let's drink some raki
to make the pain go away.

Come on.

Come on, brother.

Shame on you, Master Vassilakis.

I didn't expect this from you.

You shouldn't have let the orphan girl
fall in love with you.


- Is it that bad?
- It is.

- Your mother took pity on her...
- And brought her home.

But that's it.

She will never let you
marry a servant girl.

Don't call her that again.


I never saw this coming from Halil.

Sneaking out of here, like a thief,
in the middle of the night.

His thoughts were with you
up until he left.

He said things are going to get
dangerous with Kemal around.

You need to leave.

Leave Smyrna?

Leave our homeland?

That will never happen.

Never! Never...

- What a great success for Venizelos.
- He has outdone himself.

He's really outdone himself
with the Treaty of Sevres.

It's all ours.

Thrace, the Dodecanese,
the Aegean Islands, Smyrna.

They didn't give us Smyrna.

- What are you saying, Socrates?
- He is right.

They have given it to us for five years.
Then, they will hold a referendum.

And it will officially be Greek.

Until then, the Greeks
will have to keep fighting a war...

so that the Allies can share
the wealth of the Empire.

And they won't sacrifice a single man.

They're after a proxy war.

- Spiros, don't start again.
- Father.

Let's get going.
Mother is expecting us at the factory.

- Goodbye.
- Bye.

- Here's to Greece, to our Allies.
- To Asia Minor.

To Venizelos.

- Cheers, Vassilakis.
- Filio, come here.

Nothing is good enough for them.
Not even the Treaty of Sevres.

I'm not sure what to tell you there,

I don't think this Treaty
is sound, either.

It was signed in Sevres,
where they make porcelain.

Fragile things.

This treaty looks like
a cracked vase to me.

What nonsense is this?

The Treaty is final.
Even the Sultan signed it.

- What about Kemal?
- Who's Kemal, anyway?

Just a rebel, leading a bunch
of anarchists, without arms.

Yes, but he's got them all
fighting for him.

We need to help our army.

I've made up my mind.
I will join as a volunteer, mother.

Do you want me to die?
Smyrniots don't go to war.

They know nothing about fighting.
Say something to him for heaven's sake!

Your mother is right.

You're one to talk. You were
getting us riled up about the homeland.

- Not so loud.
- It's my fault for even asking you.

Vassilakis, please listen to me.

You're about to study
at the Ionian University.

That doesn't start till September '22.

- We'll have won by then.
- You will not be going anywhere.

You'll do as I say.
You are getting too big for your shoes!

Listen to me. It's not proper
to be yelling like this here.

We'll discuss it
and then decide together what to do.

Didn't I tell you, you have no idea
what is going on in your own home?

You were right.

And as for Lefkothea...

tell that Whittall boy, that if he wants
her, he'd better ask for her hand.

Otherwise he's not to step foot
in here again!

We're not going to beg them.

Alright. As you wish, Dimitrakis.

As you wish.

No tea for me.

Some turkish coffee please.

You see my dear,
we're worlds apart.

We couldn't do without our tea
and you drink coffee.

We go to bed at ten
and you stay up all night.

And we keep our voices down,
even when we argue.

And you Greeks shout all the time.

What can these two children,
possibly have in common?

- Love.
- Love?

That's hardly a prerequisite
for a successful marriage.

Greeks marry out of passion.

Haven't you noticed,
the way your grandson...

Eddie, looks at my daughter?

I'm not blind.
Yes, it's true.

I underestimated
my grandson's emotions.

I thought he'd be more interested
in the family business.

You know,
money rolls and flies, we say.

So, you better spend it
while you are alive.

My daughter does not need wealth.

She needs happiness.

And so does Eddie.

I didn't think,
Greeks were so straightforward.

Well, we are part anatolians.

We hide some things.

But we expose our emotions.

You are a strong woman.

Your daughter must be as well.

I imagine, Eddie is used to strong women.

Sometimes it's dangerous
to set a precedent.

We'll have the engagement here.

With all of Smyrna.
Everybody we know.

No, no. Just a few people.

You know, I'm afraid of the evil eye.

That is so greek!

My love, how can you leave like this?

At night like a thief,
without saying goodbye to anyone?

All I need is you, Zacharoula.

Wish me luck.

Kiss my family for me.

They were so happy about Lefkothea's
engagement and you're going to...


Give me your hand.

It's the only thing
I have left from my mother.

It will protect you, my love.

Be careful.


I love you.

Me too. I love you too.

Smyrna, 1920.

For months now, vassilakis
has been fighting on the front.

And I am worried sick.

My daughter spends all her time
in Bournabat with Eddie.

My husband has gone to Athens.
So now the house feels empty.

Oh! How we used to enjoy preparing
the stew.

With brandy, honey and fresh...

- The quinces you asked for.
- Good, I'll get started on dinner.

Why bother?

Just for us eating here in the kitchen?

For the occasion.
It's your husband's name day.

Yes? So where is he then?

He'll be back any day now.
Once Venizelos wins the elections.

Don't be so sure.

They tried to kill him
this summer.

And his men killed that poor lad,

Forgive me, my sultana, but you Greeks
keep killing each other.

Osman has changed too.
He misses his son.

And I miss my husband. A lot.

He is so caught up
with business, politics.

Unless he has a mistress.

Good Lord. My lady.

Why are you talking like that?

Your husband loves you dearly, my lady.

But, he doesn't show it anymore.

I don't know.

He's hardly ever with me anymore.

It's as if he always needs
to be somewhere else.

Mr. and Mrs. Angelou,
this is Mr. Baltatzis.

One of the most
distinguished businessmen in Smyrna.

I see. From Asia Minor.

How is Smyrna nowadays?

Full of Greek flags.

The people are happy.

Here it's the opposite.
See what's happening on the streets.

Yes, and I am wondering why.

Dear Mr. Baltatzis...

our country is up against
a huge financial crisis.

Venizelos is pulling us
into an endless war.

Our youth
are fighting in a foreign land.

What foreign land? We are Greeks.

Asia Minor is Greek.

Yes, but it is still
an unknown land for us.

We'd better be going, Mr. Baltatzis.
We still have business to discuss.

Don't worry, we're not going to argue.

But the truth needs to be told.

My dear Sir,
you neither fight nor finance.

This war is fought at Greece's expense.

Forgive me, but my son
is a volunteer, fighting at the front.

And many of us offer financial support.

To Venizelos. He is the one to blame.

With his Great Idea.

I thought you believed
in the Great Idea.

But we don't want Greece destroyed
for the sake of it.

The royalists must win for all this
to finish once and for all!

I'm sorry, but...

I see you look on us as foreigners.

Just so you know,
we are more Greek than any of you.

Long live King Constantine,
Queen Sophia too.

Excuse me.

Thrace and Asia Minor,
we don't want you.

Long live King Constantine,
Queen Sophia too.

Thrace and Asia Minor,
we don't want you.

Kordelio, 1921.

They all expected Venizelos
to triumph in the elections.

He didn't even
get a seat in the parliament.

The people didn't want him anymore.

They brought the King back from exile

and he arrived here, sick,
with his new Generals.

The ones appointed by Venizelos,
who knew the area, were sent home.

The troops became deeply divided.


What have you been doing
all this time?

Nothing, dear.

Just writing a recipe
I got the other day.

Why? Can't you bear to be without me?

You shouldn't keep Turks
in your house anymore.

If Kemal gives the order,
his son may slaughter you all.

- She's right. I supported the King...
- And you don't anymore?

I support our interests, brother.

The politicians set the trap for him.

They didn't respect the Treaty of Sevres
and now they're moving in deeper.

What do they know of the desert?
Of Anatolia?

- What will they eat when winter comes?
- The British will feed them.

- I only trust them.
- Nonsense! They'll abandon them.

The French,
the Italians and the Bolsheviks

are on Kemal's side now.

And how did you come
to this conclusion?

It's obvious.

Where did the Turks find all the guns?

Why did the Greeks stop ordering
uniforms from me?

So that's what it's all about, Spiros!

That's what you care about.
You're losing money!

Dimitrakis, please.

Stop! My heart can't take anymore.

Come on, father.

Mistakes. So many mistakes.

And Venizelos is to blame...

for sending troops here
with no guarantee.

Damn Venizelos, that devil!

Did I curse your King?

Who brought all
these useless officers here?

Shame on you.
What's next? A fist fight?

If it weren't for the Allies
helping him out...

even though they don't like him,
we would be all down in hell.

Who would be?

We are already there.

Send money to Greece
and let's get out of here.

- There's going to be a massacre here.
- You've told us before.

They'll slaughter us and the Allies
will take pictures from their ships.

Come off it, Spiros.

I am only telling you
what I am going to do.

Don't like it?
Cut your throat, for all I care.

Let's go.


That's just great!

You'll end up not talking
to your brother at all.

Spiros has got a point.


You're interfering in things
that are none of your concern.


And what should I be concerned
about? The master's baklava and ouzo?

- Yes.
- Yes?

Now you're siding with Spiros!

No, I am not, but it's gone too far.

Why can't we buy a small house
in Athens?

Send money in Greece?

How can we trust the banks there?

Greece is even poorer
with the war going on.

Do you know Europe canceled their loan
once Venizelos left?

- Why did Venizelos call for elections?
- God help me.

To get the people's consent
before carrying on with the war.

Why didn't he ask them
before even starting it?

Or is it that he saw something
we don't want to see?

That's a big thing to say, Madam Filio.

Are you going to suspect
the man who liberated us?

No, I am not saying that.
But it looks to me like he got scared.

How long will our army hold out?

What if they leave?
What will happen to us, Dimitrakis?

Shouldn't we be gone
before this happens?

I was born in Smyrna
and I'll die in Smyrna.

I will not leave unless they make me.

Calm down, my love. I only said...

You always need to have your say.

Leave something for the men to handle.

I am going back to Smyrna.

You can come home whenever you wish.

We've never had such a winter.
It's been raining since October.

It's so cold, it might even snow.

If only! Snow is a good sign.

But it never snows here.

Oh, come on. Let's get to bed.

And don't you stay up too long.

Vassilis! Vassilakis!

What happened to your leg?

I'm lucky they didn't cut it off.


All my friends are dead.

All of them.

We shouldn't have gone to Sakarya.

We shouldn't have.

Eftalia, it's time. Come on.

Ten, nine,

eight, seven,

six, five, four...

Three, two, one...

Happy new year!

Happy new year!

This will be the best year ever.

To your wedding!

To our wedding, in September!

Brothers might quarrel
but they never part.

Bravo, finally.

- Happy new year!
- Happy new year!

- Happy new year!
- Happy new year!

- Happy new year!
- Happy new year!

Happy new year!

Happy new year!

Let's all drink to our new friends,
mister Jennings.

He's come here to work with YMCA.


Happy to be here.
Smyrna seems like an exciting city.

Just possibly doomed.

Isn't it a christian city?

It is, that's why the Turks
call it Gavur İzmir.

- The infidel city.
- They would like to destroy it.

I have trust in the Lord.
He will protect it.

I hope you are right.


Ice cream!

The year has gone by pleasantly.

The summer is here again.

We are getting ready for summer,
just as if it wasn't our war.

You should have known better.
It was bound to happen.

What am I going to do?
It will start showing soon.

And Vassilakis doesn't know anything.


Vassilakis loves you.

And Madam Filio suspects something.

But will Master Dimitrakis
let his son marry you?

I'd better go, disappear.

Don't talk like that.

We'll go to Kordelio for the summer
and we'll see.

Vassilakis is not coming.
I have to tell him.


Have you no idea how busy he is lately?

They gave him an important positions
at headquarters, with Chatzianestis.

- When he comes to Kordelio...
- He won't be coming.

He doesn't want us to go either.
The news from the front isn't good.

He's worried.

He wasn't worried when he seduced you.


God is merciful.

His mother has a soft spot for him.
You never know.


We've been waiting
for you since yesterday.

What's wrong, dear?

Are you sick?

The front has collapsed.

- What?
- What happened?

What did you say?

The front line was 700km long.

The commanders...

Couldn't communicate with each other.

Kemal attacked them from every side.

Our army is retreating.

Without leaders, with no plan.

The Turks are right behind.

This can't be happening.

Vassilakis, are you sure?

Great tragedy!

I knew it! They'll slaughter us!

Like in 1915, they'll slaughter us!

Hurry up, we're leaving. Start packing.

The front has collapsed.
We're going to Smyrna.

What are you looking at?
Get everything together.

Our army was defeated?

They didn't even have the chance
to fight, father.

They're retreating any way they can.

Some are resisting.
Some are killing themselves.


I curse the moment I listened to you.

We'd be in London by now.
With all our money.

Let's go to Bournabat. To the Whittalls.
They won't hurt us there.

Yes. They have protection
from Britain. Let's go.

And we don't?

Greece will protect us.

Pack the silverware.

The Greek population must leave
before Kemal arrives.

I begged all foreign consuls to help.

They all have government orders
to remain neutral.

Our last hope is Venizelos himself.

I will read to you
the letter I sent him.

"The Hellenism of Asia Minor,
the Greek state...

and the Greek Nation,
as a whole...

is descending into Hades.

Whereof no power
will ever be able to restore it again.

It's imperative,
that the greek population...

leave before Kemal enters the city.

- Tchetas are here already.
- Who?

The Tchetas. Bandits.
They accompany soldiers.

They're the ones
who commit the crimes.

Our government send orders
to remain neutral.


Our ambassador hates Greeks.
He is hardly neutral.

He's sending Washington,
false information.

You're married to a Greek.

That hardly fosters neutrality.

All Americans are leaving.
It's your duty to come with us.

I am a diplomat.
That is my profession.

Which means I am neutered.

But, you however,
are not a diplomat.

I frankly have no idea,
what you are.

I don't know why you're here/

I don't know what you're doing
with the YMCA, you may be a spy.

But, you're not a diplomat.
You can do something.


And you're an American,
which gives you advantage.

If you know
how to use it...

speak to the Turks.

Lie if you must, but...

you might be able to do something.

We are Greeks!

Open! We are Greeks!

Your Holliness, we must leave.

You'll be the first one in danger
once the troops take the city.

Kemal has appointed Nuredin Pasha,
your sworn enemy, to take over Smyrna.

I cannot abandon my flock.

My orders from the government
are to leave and to protect you.

I'd rather trust God with my protection.

Leave, but trust me, you'll regret it
for the rest of your life.


- Why don't you let people leave?

- The ones who have
Greek passports can leave.

Nobody has Greek passports!
We are Ottoman citizens!

I'm sorry. The bill was
passed on July 16th.

People with foreign passports,
cannot enter Greece.

Stergiadis, you traitor!
You're leaving us to the Turks!

- Shame on you!
- We are Greeks!

- They will slaughter us!
- Traitor!

- Let us go!
- They will slaughter us!

So, they knew this disaster was coming.

And we...

Let's go.

Let's go.

Let's go.

Hurry up.


All Armenians are
in St. Stefanos' Church.

The Tchetas came from their villages
and they're looting and killing.


Madam Takui! Where are you going?
Let's go!

now is the time to be strong.

Come on, let us pray together.


Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Son of God, have mercy upon us.

Our Lord, Jesus Christ.

Son of God.

The priest is here.

I am ready.



Kill all the infidels.


Come here, Greek!


Lord, hear my prayer!

Hear my prayer! Lord, Jesus Christ!

Have mercy upon me!

Hear my prayer!

They're asking a fortune...

but they'll take us without passports
to Chios or Mytilene.

I might find one of my guys.

Run! They got the bishop!
Can you hear me?

- They got the bishop!
- Go, leave!


Kill them all.

Destroy everything.


May my prayers reach heaven
as incense to You, Lord.

Lord, I am sacrificing myself to You.

Lord, have mercy...

Long live, Kemal!


We have been ordered
not to intervene!

Touρκία! Touρκία!

They betrayed us.


And our homeland.

It's all my fault.

I'm sorry.

I'm sorry.

I have to go to Smyrna.

- I have to face Lefkothea.
- Are you mad?

Yes, he is in love.

Go, bring her with you.

And promise to come back.

I'm not leaving without you.

Here, give her this.

Take the jewels
and sew them in our skirts.

We must wear five or six layers
of clothes.

- All together?
- One on top of the other.

Zacharoula, bring
your village clothes and scarves.

Eftalia, come, let's hide the icons.

Rub ashes on your face
to look old.

I'll bury the icons and silverware
in the garden.

Let me have an icon of the Virgin Mary
to hold on to.

Leave it to me.
You shouldn't carry it.

I know.

You can't imagine
what's happening in Bornova.

All night long...

We heard them raping
and burning the city down.

They slaughtered two thousand Greeks.

We're leaving.

I'm sorry. I can only take
Lefkothea with me.

Go! If you can leave here and be safe,
go, my girl!

I can't.

How can I leave you?

I'll die of worry.

We must leave.
They are waiting aboard the ship.


Just a moment. Wait a moment.

Lefkothea, where are you going?

Let her go.
She'll be safe, let her go.

We'll meet again.

To unόσχoμαι.

Take her with you and leave.

My heart is bleeding.

I didn't know...

if you were ever going to see me
in my wedding dress.

You're an angel.

Forgive me.

I love you with all my heart.

Say you will take me as your wife.

You will always be my wife.


Even if I never see you again.

Let's go. I found a boatman
to take us to Mytilene.

Let's go, let's go.

Father, where are you going
without your jacket?

- You'll get cold on the boat.
- My darling child.

I'm not coming.

I can't walk.

- I'll be a burden.
- What are you saying?

They'll kill you if you stay here.

- Huh. Their gain.
- I'm not leaving without you.

I can't leave you alone.

Who says he'll be alone?

I'll stay with him.

Madam Filio, I am a Turk.
They will not harm me.

No, I can't leave you alone.
I can't go without you.

I'll stay with my friend.

Let's go. Come on.

Hurry up, it's hell outside. Come on.

Don't look back.

Look ahead.

Make sure you live, my child.

How? How can I live without you?

My dear Father.

We hadn't left the house for days.

We weren't ready for what we saw.

Blood and corpses everywhere.

Uniforms, military coats, flags.

The remains of a long lost hope.

Come on.

What are you doing?
Why are you stopping?

- The boatman won't wait forever.
- Can't you see what's happening?

- Let's go to the American consulate.
- We won't find another boat.

Let's go. The children at least.

- He is right. Go.
- No, we're leaving together.

I love you all.

I've always loved you.

- May God be with you.
- Go.

May God be with you.

Come on, let's go.


Θα σας σφάξouμε!

My friends, forgive me.
We have been ordered to leave and...

our ship will only take Americans.

Now, it's safest if you stay here...

inside the consulate.

- Until...
- Until...

The Greek ships come back for us.

No. That won't happen.

It would automatum mean
a new declaration of war.

We'll meet again.

- May God protect you.
- You too.

I wish that...

I hope we can all meet again.

I am so sorry.

No more. It will sink!

Take us with you!

We are going to drown!

No more! We'll drown!

God have mercy upon us.

Give peace to the world,

cure the sick

and receive the dead into heaven.

God have mercy upon us.

Holy Trinity.

Give peace to the world.

Cure the sick

and receive the dead into heaven.

God have mercy upon us.

Holy Trinity,
give peace to the world

cure the sick...

Holy Trinity.

Give peace to the world.

Cure to the sick.

God have mercy upon us.

Cure to the sick....

God have mercy upon us!

it's a very bad line.

Yes, I am in Smyrna.

The city is on fire!

There are 350.000 Greeks,
trapped in the port.

Tchetas are killing and raping,
do you understand?

Your government has 26 battleships
in Mytilene.

You must send them,
here, immediately.

Who am I?

I am the representative
of the American government.


- They're burning the Armenian quarter.
- Madam Takui!

Now the wind is blowing this way!

We need to get father. Let's go.

- Let's go.
- Stay here with the girls.

- Lefkothea!
- Eftalia!



My Dimitris!

- Papa!
- My Dimitris!

- Papa!
- My Dimitris!




Our factories...

Our money in the safe...

I believe the expression is,
up in smoke.

My dear,
we are on a ship.

We are alive.

It's unbearable.

Have you no heart?
Why can't you do something?

We have strict orders
not to lift a finger!

It's hard mam.
We want to help. But...

Do you have search lights?

- Of course mam!
- For God's sakes...

use them!
Shine on the port!

Not now. They're watching us.
Let them go.

Run! This way!

It's contrary to your instructions.

This is what I've see,
with my own eyes.

Our ambassador has instructed us...

all the reports to say
there has been a minor incident!

- Nothing of significance.
- That's not what happened.

- This is what I'm filing.
- What has happened to you Dawson?

Just following orders, sir.

We have great interests in Turkey.

So, for those interests,
you're willing to close your eyes?

As Europe is doing,
for its own interests.

A magnifiscent city is dying...

in front of all civilized nations!

All I can say,
is that I am ashamed.

- Sir...
- Not on you. My shame.

runs far deeper.

I am ashamed
to belong to the human race.

American citizen!

I'm American!

I can absolutely guarantee
the safety of your ships.

The American Navy will protect them.

What? Yes, of course!

I have spoken
to the turkish government.

I have their written agreement.
Please, send them at once.

We only have eleven days left.

- Go!
- Ismini!

Get out of here!

You! How old are you?
Twenty three? Twenty five?

I am crippled.

You weren't a minute ago!

Don't take him! My husband is crippled,
and I'm pregnant.

zacharoula, I'll make it!

You've given me a reason to live!
I love you!



Quick! Go on!

Let me go! Let me go!

Let me go!



- Lefkothea!
- Mother!



A Japanese ship threw its cargo.

We can get in without passports. Run!



My child!

My child.

My child...

My child...


This woman is sick.
Take her to the boat.


All gone. I lost them all, Zacharoula.

You still have me, Madam Filio.

LESVOS, 1923
We are now at our homeland, Greece.

Smyrna is somewhere across the sea.

While we were leaving,
I turned to see it for the last time.

Nothing was left of my beloved city.

And I took a vow, to hold on.

To start a new life.

And keep the memory of Greek Smyrna
always inside me.

Even though they erased it
from the maps.

- Today it's Saint Dimitrios day.
- God bless his name.

Our loved ones will be watching
from above and I want them to rejoice.

Let's make baklava.

- Like the old days.
- Where? Here?

Why not? I've brought a little butter!

- I am going to get the almonds.
Baklava needs a lot of almonds.

So, for the baklava...

- We need nice homemade butter.
- A cup of sugar.

And lots of almonds.

- And cinnamon.
- And filo dough.

According to historical studies,
the victims were around 800.000

and the refugees
approximately 1.500.000.

The great fire on August 31st,
(September 13th by the New Calendar)

lasted four days.

The people waited for the ships
amidst smoke, burnt ruins,

vandalism and savage violence
for many days before being able to go.

In memory of Maria Ntenisi,
Olympia Doukakis and Kostas Voutsas.