Who Pays the Ferryman? (1977): Season 1, Episode 4 - A Dead Man to Carry My Cross - full transcript

Tony Viglis arrives in Elounda escorting the coffin of his grandfather, who wished to be buried in his hometown, thus re-igniting a vendetta with Annika's family. Alan takes his side, and convinces Annika and her brother to end the feud.

- From Australia, Sydney?
- Everything's OK.

I had all the formalities checked
when I arrived in Athens yesterday.

Viglis? Antonis Viglis?
That was his name?

My grandfather.
He was born here in Crete.

- And you are Anthony Viglis?
- That's right. Next of kin.

Well, like I said,
the old man was born here

and I've brought him back to be buried.

That's what he wanted,
in the village where he was born.

Er...a place called Dhafnai.
Do you know it?

Yes, Kyrie Viglis. I know it.


Hey, Nikos! How's the engine
going now? All right?

Like it was new! Thanks to you,
Leandros. I am grateful.

Any time.

But what can I do, Mother? You will not
permit me to tell both of them the truth!

No! For Elena's sake.
For the sake of the family.

To protect your dead sister's honour.

The truth must remain a secret
known only to you and to me.

- And to the Englishman.
- Yes.

And that is why he must leave Crete,
why you must force him to go.

- How?
- How? You ask me that?

Your blood might have thinned in the air
of Athens, but it is still Cretan blood.

With such a question,
you shame me, Petros.

You shame yourself,
and you shame the name of Matakis.

How? Do you think your father would
have needed to ask such a thing of me?

He would have known
what he had to do.

Besides, you know the answer already.

You must go up against this
Englishman in everything he does.

In everything he plans to do.

- Vendetta?
- What else?

It is demanded of you, however
little stomach you may have for it.

And if all else fails,
then you must kill him.

- It is Matheos Noukakis, Mother.

- Kalimera, Kyria Matakis.
- Kalimera, Matheos.

What can I do for you?

If it is that you are here
to ask if I have been successful

in persuading Annika to give you back
your job as her manager,

then, sadly, I have to tell you
that she won't listen to me.

No, Kyria, it is not about that
that I am here.

But I'm grateful to you
for speaking to her on my behalf.

And I'm sorry that she's so against me.
She will not even see me.

But that's another matter.

The reason I'm here is because

my cousin who works at the airport
telephoned me with some information.

Something which I feel certain
you would want to know,

as it will be of great concern to you.

What is it?

A man arrived on the early morning
flight from Athens today.

His name is Viglis, Anthony Viglis.

And he has brought with him the body
of his grandfather, Antonis Viglis,

to see it buried
in the cemetery of Dhafnai.

Antonis Viglis to be buried in Dhafnai?

Dear Lord in heaven!
Why have you done this to me?

Are my sins such that you must add
more weight to the cross I bear?

First your weakness and now this,

to add further insult
to the name of Matakis.

Antonis Viglis laid to rest in Dhafnai.

It must not happen.

It cannot happen.

And fortunately there is no need for you
to make sure of that, my son, for I can.

And I will.

- Kalimera.
- Kalimera.


The story of the world doesn't
make happy reading these days

so I have no regrets for disturbing you.

Annika, hello. How are you?
Come and sit down.

- When did you get back?
- Late last night.

I seem to be in charge. Would you
like a coffee? A drink or something?

No, no, thank you.
I met Babis in Heraklion this morning.

He told me how much progress
you have made with the boat.

I couldn't wait to see for myself.

I also came to say hello to you.

I couldn't wait any longer
to do that either.

I'm glad.

- Hello.
- Hello, Leandros.

You've seen the boat, have you?

- Yes, I have just come from the beach.
- And what do you think of it?

That you should be
very proud of yourself.

Such a task, so well done and all alone.

No, no.
I'm not on my own any more.

Alexis is my apprentice.
He hammers very well.

Couple of weeks
and she'll be finished.

The launching.
It will be a very special occasion.

- It must be done with great style.
- Yes, yes, champagne.

Of course, the best.

And you will christen her for me.

Thank you. I would like that.

What name have you chosen?

The Knot.

The Knot.

Yes, that's a good name.

The knot that binds you to Crete?

The knot that binds me to many things.

Did you know that my brother Petros
is here in Crete again?

No. Has he been away, then?

For years in Athens.

- Is he back in Crete for good?
- No, to visit our mother.

I think it must be that
his conscience troubles him.

We have seen very little of him
since he left.

He's been too busy making money
and becoming important.

And is he important?

To Petros he is.

And to you?

He's my brother. I love him.
But I'm also sorry for him.


He's a man
who has forsaken the old horizon

but who I think
has not yet found another.

- As you have?
- Yes.

- Have you seen him yet?
- Yes, he came to my house.

It was a strange reunion.

He seemed uncomfortable with me.
We talked but said nothing.

- Well, perhaps one day I'll meet him.
- Yes, that would please me.

You will both come to dinner with me.

But not tomorrow. Tomorrow you and I
are going up into the mountains.

You've decided, have you?

That you need a rest
from your work on the boat? Yes.

- You agree?
- What if I said no?

I would insist. Please, a day off.

From everything and everyone
that has a claim on us. And together.

I agree. No argument.

Good. You will enjoy the day.
I promise you.

Where are we going?

To the place where I was born.

To the village where my mother
and father were born

and where they were married.

You will see. It's beautiful.
You will like it. It's called Dhafnai.

- Kalimera.
- Kalimera.

She said, "Such a sin.

"It shall not happen."

What does she mean?

I don't understand.

And later we can eat there.

- Kalimera.
- Kalimera.

Well, you have seen the chapel
in which I was christened.

And here is the house
that my grandfather built.

The house in which for many years
my father and mother lived.

The house in which I was born.

Yes, my grandfather was poor then.

He had only this house and a little land.

But later things changed.
He was very clever.

Must have been quite a man,
your grandfather.

Yes, he was. Money, position, respect.

For these things he was hungry.

And so am I, hungry. So, now we eat.


- Do you like kefthedes?
- Very much.

Do you come to Dhafnai often?

Not so often as I would like to
or as I should, perhaps.

I haven't been here
for more than a year.

Well, they're obviously very pleased
to see you. It's like a royal welcome.

They are kind to me.

Most of them have known me
since I was a child.

Besides, I told you,
they are my people.

What is it? What's going on?

Anybody here speak English?


Hello. I'm Alan Haldane.

Tony Viglis. A pom?

Well, yes. You must be Australian.

Right, true blue. Er...
they're a friendly mob, aren't they?

They were before you came in.

Great. Thanks a bunch.

- Can I help you?
- Do you speak the lingo?

Enough, probably.

I'm looking for the local priest,
Father Nikolaos.

I've been to his house

and there's somebody there
but they're not answering the door.

Hold it.
Annika, what the hell is going on?

Don't interfere, Leandros.
It doesn't concern you.

Doesn't con...

A man walks in here,
a stranger, a foreigner,

and he's spat at, he's insulted.

One man against so many.
You say it doesn't concern me?

Then get him away from here.
Tell him to leave Dhafnai.

- Why?
- Now, Leandros, quickly.

- You drove here?
- Yeah, in a hire car. It's parked outside.

Right, I'll walk you to it.
Come on.

For God's sake, what's going on
round here? What have I done?

- Have you been here before?
- It's my first trip outside Australia.

- Where are you staying?
- In Heraklion at the Knossos Hotel.

All right, I'll try and find out what
this is all about, and I'll call you.


All right, come on. Er...slowly.

- Hey, now, wait a minute, feller!

Right, that's enough.


You bastards!
Do you want some more?

- Are you all right?
- Yes, but he isn't.

- I did warn you.
- But not him.

He could have been killed,
and you would have just let it happen.

- I stopped them.
- Yes, only because I was involved.

- He's not welcome here.
- You do surprise me!


- Is there a policeman in this village?
- Yes.

But he just doesn't happen to be here.
How very convenient!

- Where are you taking him?
- To my place to get a doctor.

You can take my car back.

You mustn't judge them too harshly.
They have a reason.

For...for that? Whatever their reason,
you can forgive...

Yes, yes,
you probably can, can't you?

Because, as you said,
they are your people.

- How is he?
- Lucky. I've had the doctor here.

He's got a severe cut on the head
and probably concussion.

Now I'd like an explanation, please.

- His name is Viglis.
- He told me that. So?

Once there were many Viglis in Dhafnai.
But they weren't good people.

They stole sheep, quarrelled,
fought and made trouble.

Then one day, two of the villagers were
murdered by men of the Viglis family.

The people of Dhafnai rose up against
them. They hanged the murderers.

Lynched them?

That was often the way of justice
in the mountains then.

No Viglis has lived in Dhafnai
or dared to return there since.

And when did all this happen?


That is over 60 years ago!

In the mountains people do not
forget easily, as you well know.

But this man isn't a Cretan.
He's a visitor, an Australian.

He bears the name,

and he has brought with him the body
of his grandfather, Antonis Viglis,

who wished to be buried in Dhafnai.

And that's something that
the villagers will not permit.

- It's barbaric.
- These are Cretan mountain people.

They hold their grievances
close to them.

You fought alongside them
during the war.


The people I fought alongside during
the war had a respect for the dead.

They even made sure
their enemies were decently buried.

As Antonis Viglis should be buried.
And in Crete. No one questions that.

But not in Dhafnai.
The villagers do not forgive.

It's about time they learnt. Somebody
ought to tell them that. You, for example.

- Me?
- Yes, you! They obviously respect you.

You've got influence with them.
I saw that this morning.

Speak to them. Tell them to stop
this nonsense, this shameful business!

No, Leandros, I cannot do that.

- Why not?
- It's not possible.

- Because you agree with them?
- No, but I understand them.

- And I cannot interfere.
- Cannot or will not?

Between those two words,
what difference does it make?

- A hell of a lot to me!
- Very well, then. I will not.

Then you really are one of them,
aren't you?

And you're no better than they are.

No, I am not.

But then I have never
thought myself to be.

- Mr Haldane.
- Hello, Major. Come in.

It seems that we only meet
in times of trouble.

- You heard what happened?
- Yes.

It is a very serious matter.
How is Mr Viglis?

The doctor thinks he'll be all right.
He's upstairs resting at the moment.

I've just made myself some coffee.
Would you like some?

- Thank you, no.
- Well, if you'll excuse me, I will.

I have just returned from Dhafnai.

It is a beautiful place.

Yes, I wouldn't recommend it for a visit.

And the air in the mountains,
so clean, so cool, so fragrant.

Some say that it is the breath of God.
Did you know that?

There was very little of God
up there this morning.

The air is air, Mr Haldane.
It is man who pollutes it.

I take your point.

You are aware
of the reason for this attack?

- Some old feud, I believe.
- More than that, a vendetta.

Now the villagers are determined to stop
Viglis burying his grandfather there.

I do not think so.

I do not believe that, left to make
the decision themselves,

the majority of the people of Dhafnai
would be opposed to that.

Well, they certainly fooled me.

And Viglis is gonna have the scar on his
head for the rest of his life to prove it.

I said, "If left to make
the decision themselves."

But they have not been
allowed that privilege

by the eldest surviving member of the
family who were the rivals of the Viglis,

the family which now owns
the whole village and the land around it.

The beneficent family
which built the new school there

and restored the old chapel.

The family which collects the rents

and to which most of the villagers
owe their livelihood

and, because of that, their loyalty.

But only because of that,
and out of fear of going against them,

do they collectively oppose the burial.

- They've been told to do it or else?
- Exactly.

Perhaps less bluntly than that.

- So, what can you do about it?
- Little, if anything.

Although naturally I will try.

But while the pressure is there,
the people of Dhafnai will bend to it.

They have been told that Antonis Viglis
is unwelcome in their cemetery.

And if for no other reason
than to protect themselves,

they will go to any lengths
to see that he is not buried there.

What kind of people are they?

The people they have always been.

Cretans. Proud.

Hospitable. Independent.


My people. Your people,
from what I have heard of you.

But tell me.

Who of us, in a lifetime, and when
tested, is not sometimes meek, hostile,

dependent and afraid?

So, that's what kind of people they are,
Mr Haldane.

They are people.

What do you recommend?

That Mr Viglis buries his grandfather
elsewhere on the island.

Now, that is the simple solution.

And if he insists on Dhafnai?

Then he will need
a great deal of help and support,

and I will give him
what protection I can.

Meanwhile, I will try to see to it

that those who attacked him are
charged and brought before the court.

- Well, that may help.
- I doubt it.

The villagers saw nothing
and heard nothing.

Certainly, no one will identify
any of your assailants.

Mrs Zeferis was there. She knows them.
She could identify them.

Undoubtedly, but she will not do so.

Why not?

Mrs Zeferis was born Annika Matakis.


It is the Matakis family
which owns Dhafnai.

You are surprised?

Very. That was one little detail that
was left out of the story that I was told.


They are the family which claim
that they were wronged by the Viglis.

It is they who declared the vendetta.

It is Annika's mother, Katerina Matakis,
who today keeps it alive

and now fans it into flames
once more.

This is the 20th century.

Yeah, maybe, but in some parts
of Crete the vendetta is still a reality.

People cling to the old ways.

Didn't your grandfather ever tell you
anything about what happened here?

Never a word. He was full of stories,
mind, and some of 'em pretty wild.

And I always had a feeling that he'd
left here sort of...well, on the run.

But why he never did say.
Not to me, anyway.

- When did he leave?
- When he was about 18, I think.

- Yeah, but what year was it?
- Let's see. He was 79 when he died.

That'd make it 1898.

Yeah, 1916. It fits.

Well, now you know what the situation
is, what are you going to do about it?

Do? What do you think?
I'm gonna see it through.

The police major doesn't think
much of that idea.

Well, stuff him. And stuff
all those abos up in the mountains.

No matter what happens,

my grandfather's gonna be buried
where he chose to be,

in a plot of land bought with his money

that he earned
with a hell of a lot of hard sweat.

That's what he wanted and that's what
I'm gonna see happens, believe me.

All right, I'm with you.

- Listen, Mr Haldane.
- Alan.

Right, thanks. Listen, Alan.
You've been bloody good to me already.

Getting me out of that place,
calling in a doctor,

letting me rest up at your house,

but if there's gonna be more
trouble, and it looks like there is,

I don't want to get you involved.

I am already involved. This is
as much my problem as it is yours now.

- How come?
- Let's call it a family matter.

But if the Major's right, and I think he
is, you are going to need a lot of help.

But what we need on our side is a man
who carries a lot of weight around here.

I think I know the very man.

After you telephoned me, Leandros,
I got in touch with Father Nikolaos.

He made many excuses,
none of which I would accept.

Finally he said that it was not possible
for the burial to take place in Dhafnai,

because there was
no room in the cemetery.

- Come on.
- This is a lie.

I know it to be so.

However, he clearly considers that
to be the end of the matter.

What do you suggest?

- That you reconsider, I think.
- No.

Leandros brought you to me
because I'm his friend.

He trusts me. He trusts my judgment.
Will you please do the same?

Not if you're saying I should bury
my grandfather somewhere else.

You're a stubborn man.

I didn't come here to stir up trouble.
Your people have done that.

- I'm not gonna back away from them.
- Leandros.

Well, I'm with him on this, Babis.
I think he's right.

Very well. If you both insist.

Yeah, but Father Nikolaos
says that cemetery's full.

If he sticks to that story,
what can we do about it?

Since I know that to be untrue,
as a lawyer,

I can only conclude that
he's being deliberately obstructive

to the rightful claims of the heir and
executor to the estate of Antonis Viglis.

And without reasonable cause.

In which case, as your representative,

it is open to me
to appeal to the Archbishop.

I take it that your grandfather
was not a heretic?

Too right.

And that he was in good standing
with the Greek church?

He went to services regularly.

So, there can be no religious grounds
on which to refuse him burial

and in the place of his choosing.

Now, when the Archbishop
is in possession of all the facts,

he will have no alternative
other than to order Father Nikolaos

to proceed with the funeral
and to officiate at it.

that will only be a piece of paper.

An instruction.

Only another influence can ensure

that your grandfather
finally rests in peace in Dhafnai.

Katerina Matakis.

It is she who opposes you.

Come on, Babis, talk to her.

You know her well. In fact, I think
you're a friend of hers. Appeal to her.

She wouldn't listen even to me. I know.

- Yes, but if you asked her...
- No, it is a matter of pride with her.

Her ears would be deaf to all entreaties.

She is much like you, Mr Viglis.

No one will persuade her away from
what she feels deeply to be her duty.

You are mistaken, Major.

The people of my village
have acted in this way

because of the outrage with
which they feel themselves threatened.

And not because of any claim
which I or my family may have on them.

- Then if that is so...
- You doubt my word?

I would say only this, Kyria Matakis.

Incitement to violence
is a criminal offence.

You came here to threaten me?


Merely to acquaint you with that fact.

It is as well for us all to know how
we may place ourselves in jeopardy.

There was no incitement.
None was needed.

But your interests are close
to the hearts of the people of Dhafnai.

As their interests
are close to your heart.

I have no cause to deny that.

I am proud
of our shared concern in all things.

And so you would wish
to advise them well.

As I have always done.

Then warn them.

Tell them that if the Australian
comes to Dhafnai again, for any reason,

and if they go against him,
they will go against me.

You would protect him, a foreigner,

from the anger of people
of your own blood?

No, I do not protect him. The law does.

Man's law. There is no true justice there.

If you call on justice, Kyria Matakis,
then remember this.

Justice is blind. She cannot tell
a Cretan from a foreigner.


- Kyrie Petros.
- I will see you to the door.

He means what he says, Mother.

He will stand with Viglis. He must.

Then let him. It changes nothing.

Only that in standing with him,
the Major may also fall with him.

Mother. Why?

For what?

For a wrong
that was avenged years ago?

What is there to be gained
from what you are doing, for anyone?

There have been times lately, Petros,

when, if I didn't still remember
the agony of your birth,

I would doubt that you were my son.

And to think that I have placed
the Englishman Haldane in your hands!

Very well, I'll speak to the Archbishop,

and he will instruct Father Nikolaos
of that, I'm certain.

- Thank you.
- Ha!

If only it was as easy as that.

If only I could believe that you had
reasonable cause for gratitude.

But in doing this,
I'm only opening a gate.

The path you have chosen
is no less stony than before.

Now, please do something for me.

I would like to speak to Leandros
for one moment alone.

- Right. I'll wait for you outside.
- Yassou, Mr Viglis.

Thanks again.

You know what I'm gonna say,
don't you?

Yes, you're going to say it's none of
my business, I shouldn't get involved.

You of all people.
You are far too vulnerable, Leandros.

When Katerina Matakis learns
that you are helping Viglis,

she's not going to be pleased.

Elena. She is your weakness.

The secret that only you and I share.

In her, your blood is mixed with Matakis
blood. But she doesn't know that.

You don't share her loyalties.

Offend her grandmother, and you risk
to offend her. And then there is Annika.

I already know where Annika stands
on this. She goes with her family.

- And you condemn her for that?
- No, it's just...I'm disappointed.

Annika is an educated woman.
She has travelled.

But despite that, she's still a Cretan
and of peasant stock.

That is a birthright to be proud of,

but it is also a heritage
which is hard to shake off.

Perhaps you expect too much of her.

No more than I'd ever settle for.


Are you prepared to risk the relationship
which you are building up with her

for this stranger?

What would you have me do?
Turn my back on him?

Turn my back
on this whole shameful business?

You know, Babis, if you think
I expect too much of Annika,

you obviously expect far too little of me.

Well, Mother?

The Archbishop has ordered
Father Nikolaos to bury Antonis Viglis.

He cannot refuse.

The past, Mother. The past.

Come in.

- The burial is to take place, then?
- Yes, this afternoon.

But now there's another problem.

The undertakers in Heraklion
have backed out.

- I was just trying to ring them.
- That does not surprise me.

Even people who have no stake in this

will not wish to offend
those of their kind who have.

But I will provide the transport.
And my men will do all that is necessary.

They will be needed there anyway.

You mean there could be
a repetition up there

of what happened the other morning
despite the order from the Archbishop?

It would require much more
than an order from the Archbishop

to eliminate that risk.

Yeah, Katerina Matakis.

I have spoken to her.

She knows that if the villagers
do make more trouble,

then I will have to act firmly against them
and that people may be hurt.

Only if she were to relent
could that be avoided.

While there is still time, someone
close to her has got to talk to her

and make her see sense.

No, Leandros, I told you.
I will not interfere.

But what you didn't tell me was
that your mother was behind all this!

- I couldn't.
- Why not?

- I was ashamed.
- Something in your favour, I suppose.

I did tell you, though, that I understood
why this is being done.

- You told me you didn't agree with it.
- I do not.

What is happening is part
of yesterday's Crete. I want none of it.

- You say that, but do you mean it?
- Yes.

- Well, then, speak to your mother!
- No! It's none of my concern.

No more than it's yours. It's hers alone.

For her the injury that she believes
was done to her husband's family

is still an open wound.

She's wrong, of course.
But she is my mother.

How can I tell her
that she's wrong in what she does,

without deepening the wound?

And who am I to judge her?

Just speak to her.
Make her see sense. That's all I ask.

- That is all that anybody asks.
- No. I will not hurt her.

Hurt her?

A spiteful old woman who uses
other people's respect as a weapon?

Have you any idea what's going
to happen this morning?

Even so.

Then, you're no less of a barbarian
than she is. Why the fa├žade, Annika?

You said you're sorry for Petros
cos he hasn't found a new horizon.

Well, I feel very, very sorry for you
because you haven't either.

And your children, what would they
think? Would they be proud of you?

Just ask yourself that some time.

This afternoon will see
the old man buried.

But he will not lie here for long, I think.

Do you mean
they'll desecrate the grave?

I shall place two extra men
on duty in the village.

But I cannot keep them here forever.

Will you let this happen?

A Viglis buried in Dhafnai?

Rest here quietly, Antonis Viglis.

You have come home.

I, Annika Zeferis,
born Annika Matakis, say this.

Your sister has lost her mind.

She shames us.

Stop her.

Do you hear me? Do something!

Rest here quietly, you,
Antonis Viglis, who are now with God.

I, Petros, head of the Matakis family,
say this.

Annika is right. Antonis Viglis
is dead and so is the past.

I will have no more of any vendetta.

It is because
you have forsaken your heritage.

No, I am proud
of that which is good in it.

Because you are a coward, then!

If you wish to think that.

But from now on, I am content
to leave retribution in God's hands.




Thank you.

For what? Seeing the truth?

Doing what I should have
done at the beginning?

May I drive you home?

I would like that.