Drama. An Australian farmer travels to Turkey after the Battle of Gallipoli to try and locate his three missing sons. He discovers that one of his sons may actually still be alive.
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This film contains some violent scenes
-ALL: Allahu Akbar!
I think we're close, mate.
I think we're very close.
Told you there was water there, didn't I?
Everything all right?
Arthur's worn through the toe of his boot again.
What does he do?
The boys are all in bed.
They're waiting for you to read to them.
-I'm bone-tired, Lizzie.
-Oh, come on.
You know this is their favourite time of the day.
"Prince Hussain called to the man
"and asked him why the carpet he wished to sell
"was so expensive,
"saying, 'it must be made of something quite extraordinary.'
"The merchant replied,
" 'My Prince, your amazement will be all the greater
" 'when I tell you that it is enchanted.
" 'Whoever sits on this carpet, closes his eyes
" 'and says the magic word "Tangu"
" 'may be transported through the air in an instant.
" 'Wherever his heart desires to be.' "
I hit water at 15 feet.
Bit brackish, but good pressure.
With water we'll be able to put stock in that valley block.
They didn't even wipe the mud off it.
It's been four years, Liz.
You're so clever.
You can find water but you can't even find your own children.
Why can't you find them?
You lost them!
Come on, Art!
You won't win any medals up there, mate!
Yeah, it's two hours back to Rainbow,
-got to get a wriggle on!
-You got that?
I reckon I got it by now, Dad.
-Look after my brothers, and keep my bloody head down.
-Love you, Dad!
-See you, Dad!
You understand, in all conscience,
I could not bury your wife in consecrated ground
if I thought she had taken her own life.
Consecrated ground is his promise to the faithful.
She fell in and drowned, so your conscience is clear.
Three sons killed.
That was quite an ordeal for Eliza.
As the book of Job teaches us,
God sets these trials for a reason.
Many families in the district have made similar sacrifices
for king and country.
You know, you have a gall coming in here,
You haven't stepped inside this place for four years,
you haven't been to confession.
You're all but lost to God.
Yes. And you and God can feed me to the pigs for all I care.
But you knew this woman. She was here every Sunday.
I've dug the grave, I've made the coffin.
All I'm asking you to do is say some words and throw some dirt.
That cart of yours...
..would make a useful benefaction for our community.
An offering to God.
Well, he might as well take that too.
I'll find them, love.
I'll find them and I'll bring them home to you.
RHYTHM OF DIGGING AND DIRT FALLING CONTINUES
Not now. Later. Thank you.
Major Hasan Bey to see Lieutenant Colonel Hughes
-at the War Graves.
-We know who he is, mate.
Four years ago they'd have given me a VC for shooting that bastard.
Lieutenant Colonel Hughes,
may I present Major Hasan Bey.
-Major Bey was commander of...
-Just Major Hasan.
-Bey just means Mister.
Mr Bey gave you boys hell at Lonesome Pine, sir.
We all know who Major Hasan is, Lieutenant. Thank you.
Hosbulduk. Turkce biliyor musunuz?
I see you have finally taken the Peninsula.
Lost the battle, won the war.
Well, Sergeant Tucker here will show you to your accommodations.
Perhaps once you've refreshed we could meet in my tent?
-Right this way.
While I'm here, I thought I'd make myself useful.
If you have any horses that need any work,
I might go for a little ride.
Preferably something with a bit of pep.
Ah, Sergeant Tucker, acquaint Lieutenant Greeves
She could use a workout.
With pleasure, sir.
Now, we've already started work in this area,
from the Nek down to Hill 971.
I assume they briefed you fully at the War Office.
We would appreciate your help locating our dead.
Lost over 10,000 Anzacs here on Gallipoli
and still don't know where half of them are.
Some were buried properly but a lot of the graves have been lost,
overgrown or washed away, or their crosses were pilfered
for firewood after we evacuated.
You were here?
First Light Horse.
What do you need of me?
Well, the land has changed,
but you know the area better than anyone.
I was hoping you could help us
locate the companies we lost track of.
We can start in the morning.
We lost 70,000 men.
For me, this place is one big grave.
I don't know what you chaps were belly-aching about.
This is a veritable Garden of Eden.
If your troops had taken this hill on the first day,
we would have been finished.
How close did we get?
There you go, sir. Your Garden of Eden.
Joshua? Where are the boys?
Ed, Henry, let's go home.
Come on, Ed!
It's all right, boys. It's all right.
Good on you, Art, for not leaving your brothers behind.
Hey, Ed, what's the magic word? The one that makes the carpet fly?
-Tangu, you wombat.
That's it - Tangu. Come on, cuddle up. Get tight, close your eyes.
-Ed's peeping, Dad.
-Ed, close your eyes.
It only works if your eyes are closed.
All right, boys, let's get out of here. All together.
Bugger off, the pair of you.
-Go away. No.
Anything you want my mama can make.
-Hot water, no Germans.
-No. Clear off.
Beautiful hotel. Best room.
I'm going to Gallipoli.
-How do I get to Gallipoli?
I want to go to Gallipoli.
-HE SPEAKS OWN LANGUAGE
Come to our hotel.
Beautiful hotel. Beautiful view.
Anything you want, my anne can make.
Maybe you can help me. I'm going to Gallipoli.
No, you're not. No-one goes there without a permit.
-You'll have to go to the British War Office in Sultanahmet.
-Sultanahmet. We go!
And...I'd keep an eye on your bag if I were you.
Crafty little buggers.
Where you go?
Give me my bag, you little bastard.
See? Beautiful hotel.
Clean sheets, hot water, no Germans.
I, uh...I need a room.
You're from England?
No. No, I'm from Australia.
Um, I'm sorry, Orhan has made a mistake.
We have no rooms.
Your son dragged me halfway across this wretched city.
Ah, no, no, no, no. The boy was right.
Our best room is now vacant, Mr...?
Connor. Joshua Connor.
You are most welcome, Mr Connor.
The room is up the stairs.
Breakfast is at eight.
Would you like for her to bring the tea?
Uh, no. No, thanks.
But your son did mention there might be some hot water.
Ah, it is shameful to lie. You are a spoilt mother's boy.
Oh, no, it's all right. I must have just misunderstood.
Please, please. It is his duty.
Thank you very much.
This your room.
You seem to know where everything is.
How about tomorrow you take me to the War Office?
-I'll pay you.
-Yes, I will.
Towels for you, Mr Connor.
I am preparing you a hot bath down the hall.
It will take some time.
My son is no liar.
He seems a very resourceful boy.
He is. Very resourceful.
You have children?
What are they selling?
They're not selling anything, Mr Connor.
It's a call to prayer.
Your guidebook is out of date.
I didn't come here to sightsee.
You should see the Blue Mosque, at least.
Even in my "wretched city" it is a beautiful place to find God.
I didn't come here for him either.
I'm on my way to Gallipoli.
You mean Canakkale.
There's nothing there but ghosts.
My son, he cannot help you tomorrow.
He's needed here.
Have your bath...and come back.
I regret to inform you
we do not issue civilians travel permits to the Dardanelles.
It remains a very sensitive military zone.
In fact, our friends the Greeks have made things
even more complicated by invading Turkey's western coast.
It'll be some time before we bring order to this chaos.
Arthur, Henry and Edward Connor.
All served with the 7th AIF Battalion.
They all enlisted together.
And they died together. All killed in the one day.
1915, at Lone Pine.
We do have the Imperial Graves Unit on the Peninsula as we speak.
They have a formidable task ahead of them.
You must understand, these men on Gallipoli, they are experts.
All I need from you is a piece of paper and a stamp
saying that I can go there.
I simply couldn't, Mr Connor,
even if that were my inclination.
I can find them.
How could you possibly hope to do that?
Do you know what the army used to do
with the rank and file dead
after Waterloo, Crimea, Khartoum?
They would dig an enormous bloody pit
and rake the whole lot in with a few handfuls of lime.
No names. Horse, mules, and the men.
All turned into fertilizer.
This is the first war anyone has given a damn.
My boys...should be buried at home,
beside their mother.
Go home, Mr Connor.
You have buildings like this where you come from?
..but he didn't give up.
He kept on fighting for three days!
I told you my son had work to do here, Mr Connor.
What would you expect him to say?
Keep it. It's our secret.
PIANO PLAYING CONTINUES
-Mr Connor. Would you like some breakfast?
I'm sorry, I don't understand.
What's he saying?
Uh...my father hopes you enjoy your breakfast.
Would you happen to have a... a boiled egg?
Um...your wife, he's asking where she is.
And your sons?
Without papers, you cannot go to Gallipoli.
Take the ferry to the town of Chanak, then find a fisherman.
If you pay him enough, he'll sail you across the straits.
He'll have no need for British permits.
Please, you find my baba in Canakkale.
Tell him he must come home. Anne needs him.
-This is your father?
-Who's the man in the hotel?
I'll have a look.
You bring him home!
So, what were you doing before the war?
This is the Ottoman Empire.
There was no "before the war".
In another life, I was an architect.
I was a civil engineer.
Sir! Are we expecting company?
Whoever they are, bring them to my tent.
Sergeant, grab a couple of blokes and go with Lt Greeves.
EXPLOSIONS, MEN YELLING
Mr Connor, I'm at a loss.
You walk off your farm,
you turn up unannounced in this place of horrors, and for what?
Gallipoli is eight square miles of collapsed trenches,
bomb craters, barbed wire,
and more unexploded grenades and shells
than there are pebbles on that beach. It's not safe.
I know what day my sons were killed.
At Lone Pine.
There's a map, and the last entry in his diary is August 7th.
Rest assured, I aim to put a name
next to every man out there,
including your sons.
I'm sorry, but you can't stay.
Tucker, escort Mr Connor back to his boat.
-Come in, Dawson.
Wrap your laughin' gear around that, sir.
Yum-yum, pig's bum, eh?
Something you might want to see.
Want me to arrest him, sir?
And then what?
Take some food down to him. And a blanket.
What are you doing with your farmer?
There's a supply ship back to Constantinople in two days.
Maybe we could help him until then.
You know what the chances of finding his boys are.
We have the day they were killed.
I know the area.
Yeah, we both know it, but why change everything
for one father who can't stay put?
Because he's the only father who came looking.
Change of plan.
Who's the Turk?
Hasan the assassin.
Saw us land, saw us off.
That dog wiped out half my battalion.
He would've killed your boys.
We're all best friends now.
I get to serve him breakfast every morning.
Don't worry, Mr Connor. Abdul's, not ours.
This was our front line here.
You were there.
Machine gun here, machine gun here.
And one more there.
We could see you.
So many blue eyes.
It is very lucky in Turkey to have blue eyes.
Everywhere, except here.
GUNFIRE AND SCREAMING
Listen up, boys! Listen up!
We got to move up that left flank!
Keep your heads low, push forward! NOW!
Stick it up the nose of these jokers!
We're going to take the trench tonight!
GUNFIRE AND EXPLOSIONS
They're throwing rocks, boys!
They're out of ammo!
Let's get into the bastards!
All as one!
Let's do it. Let's do it, come on!
'We came in from two sides'
here and here.
'We built a roof to protect us from shell fire.'
Instead, we made a trap for ourselves.
'Inside it was bayonets,'
It was so dark and close,
we did not see who it was we struck.
'We only stopped because we could not climb over the bodies.'
As long as Allah make me breathe,
let me see nothing like these days again.
-Are you all right, Artie?
Bugger off, you two!
Yeah, righto, mate! Whatever you reckon!
They're right here.
It's your son. Edward.
No, I wouldn't.
The bastards executed him.
He gave the order not to take prisoners.
He killed the sick, he shot the wounded.
One shot through the head, that's how they did it.
Especially him. He killed your son.
He gave them no chance, that's what he did.
I said stop him!
-Steady on, Sergeant.
-You killed my sons!
You sent them, Mr Connor. You invaded us.
Take him away. Put him under guard.
I'm most terribly sorry.
He has two more sons.
We should keep looking.
War's over, Sergeant.
We found Henry.
Lying beside him.
How on God's earth did you know they'd be there?
But you haven't found Arthur yet.
No, we combed the area thoroughly.
Well, he wouldn't leave his brothers, so he must be there.
We'll give Henry and Edward a proper burial tomorrow.
I promised their mother I would...find them and...
..and bring them home.
This is their home now.
It's not enemy ground any more.
They're among friends, probably the closest they ever had.
Leave 'em, and they always will be.
Take 'em back, they're just a couple of dead blokes in the cemetery.
She wanted them buried in consecrated ground.
How much blood do you need for it to be holy?
You know we lost over 2,000 men in those four days at Lone Pine?
The Turks lost 7,000.
We didn't take too many prisoners either.
I don't know if I forgive any of us.
"The prince closed his eyes
"and said 'tangu',
"and he sailed through the night to his father's lands.
"As the carpet settled gently on the lawn of the royal palace,
"the sultan dropped to his knees.
"Salted tears streaked his cheeks.
"As he embraced Prince Hussein, he cried, 'My son.
" 'My son. After all your rich adventures...
" '..the magic carpet has carried you
" 'on the four winds to this...
" '..your home.' "
Forgive my intrusion.
Major Hasan. I wanted to apologise to you
for my outburst.
There is a Persian saying - may you outlive your children.
It sounds like a blessing,
but it is the worst curse one can place on the head of a man.
I had this list sent from Istanbul.
This is your family name.
What is this list?
If this is your son, he was taken prisoner.
He did not die here. He left Canakkale. Alive.
FOLK MUSIC PLAYS
Did you find my father?
Sorry, am I intruding? Is it his birthday?
No, his sunnet.
Oh, bloody hell. It's a private thing.
No! Sorry. Do you want to see my scar?
Ah, thanks, mate. No.
You have guests.
Welcome back to Stamboul, Mr Connor.
-You are always welcome.
My apologies, Major.
Admiral Calthorpe will have to reschedule your meeting.
Perhaps next Tuesday? Does that suit?
Yes. If your Admiral could also reschedule the Greeks.
Allow us to handle the Greeks through proper diplomatic channels.
Let us not have another war.
It's the same war.
It hasn't ended.
Major Hasan, can you tell me the...
No. I have finished helping.
Mr Connor. Do you have your passport?
You were specifically ordered not to go to Gallipoli.
I'm not in your army.
All I need to know is the name of the prison camp
they sent my son to.
If your son did not return home, the sad reality is, he's deceased.
This was the Ottoman Empire,
one of the largest empires the world has ever known,
and presently it's being carved up.
The Bolshies, they want the Black Sea.
The French and Italians, they want the Aegean.
And currently, in Anatolia,
where the prison camps were, incidentally,
the Turks and the Greeks are turning the place
into a complete and utter bloodbath.
So where, pray, in all this madness,
would you like us to start looking for your son?
You said the prison camps were in Anatolia?
Who would have those records? The Turk army?
The camps are gone. They're all gone.
And so are you.
Lieutenant, show Mr Connor out.
I will be at your hotel, 0400 on Thursday,
with your passport and a ticket home via Calcutta.
Courtesy of the British Army.
We will make sure you will not miss that boat.
Have you bothered to ask yourself, man...
if your son was still alive,
would he not simply come home?
Mr Connor, please.
My brother died on that bloody Peninsula.
My fiancee works for the Red Cross here.
If it would be helpful, I could arrange an appointment.
That would be very helpful, thank you.
Well, Mr Connor, I think you can show yourself out from here.
I need to talk to Major Hasan.
Nobody will tell me what prison camp they sent my son Arthur to.
Your army must have records. Please, I'm at a dead end.
Then now we are in the same place.
I told you, I cannot help any more.
You must never come back here, Mr Connor.
He is handsome, eh? Don't you think?
I do not think about other men. I'm married.
No, of course. His equipment is all there, Ayshe Hanim.
In need of practice, but all there.
Anne, Joshua Bey is coming with us to the cistern.
No. It's just you and me today. Special treat.
I am sorry, Mr Connor, this is not possible,
-It would not be proper.
..perhaps if you were to follow 20 paces behind,
then there would be no shame.
I will get my hat and my coat.
You know where I live, my home?
Sometimes it doesn't rain for three or four years at a time.
We have to find water that's fallen through cracks in the earth.
How do you find it underground?
Well, there's the trick. You have to feel it.
And you feel it every time?
I have dug a lot of wells that just turned out to be holes.
I'll show you.
I have something of yours.
Orhan asked me to find your husband.
I hate this photograph.
Turgut is a musician, never a soldier.
How long were you married?
I AM married.
My mother had arranged for me to marry someone else.
But my father fought her.
He told her, "Why would we want our daughter
"to be as miserable as us?"
It is not easy to marry for love here.
Maybe my mother was right. Turgut WAS mad.
Bills to the roof not paid, music all hours,
parties, lazy friends.
I miss the chaos.
I wish my mother had arranged my marriage.
You did not love your wife?
Oh, I adored her.
I was just so bad at courting,
I think she only married me out of impatience.
But it was happy.
Until the boys were lost.
It's good to know where they are.
Not lost or nameless any more.
I was told my oldest son was taken prisoner.
So he's alive?
-I don't know.
-But you have hope.
Hope's a necessity where I come from.
Good night, Mr Connor.
Take care - your fate is in there.
It is a silly peasant game. You have to drink it first.
Now we wait.
We decide everything here by coffee. Business, holidays.
Even our husbands.
And that works?
When two families come together to arrange a marriage,
the young girl serves them coffee.
If it is sweet, she approves of the match.
If it is bitter, go away.
The more sugar, the deeper the love.
It is all peasant nonsense.
Stop, you fool! This is not your business!
This is what you want? The enemy?
It has nothing to do with him!
My brother was a fool! You disgrace our family!
Go, you have to leave now!
You've offended his honour, he will not forgive this!
-He hit you!
-I hit him!
You see, you understand nothing.
You will never understand!
I thought I was doing the right thing.
Yes. Yes, you and your sons and your armies,
all doing the right thing!
All you did was rob Orhan of a father
-and left me with choices like this!
-Then, please, let me help.
Ha! So now you will rescue us.
I didn't mean it like that. I raised three boys.
And where are they now?!
This is not your world.
Go home, Mr Connor!
You don't need to go. She gets angry with me all the time.
You would make a good ambassador, Connor Bey.
You know him? This man has dishonoured my family!
My orders are to take him to Major Hasan.
-Come here, Connor.
-First we will teach him a lesson about honour.
All four of you?
I found your son's name on a list of wounded.
They take him from Canakkale to a camp in Afyon.
After Afyon we don't know. Winters are hard.
What, you mean he died there?
No more records. We are Ottoman, not German.
Tomorrow you will be on a boat, back to Australia.
Cemal and I will travel east, to Ankara.
Mustafa Kemal is gathering a Nationalist army there.
We must pass through Afyon.
I will ask if anyone remembers your son.
Could he still be in Afyon?
As a soldier,
as a father,
I tell you, it is past praying.
ALL: Mustafa Kemal!
-Who's he toasting?
Look at him. He is the worst sergeant in the whole Ottoman Army.
Three times I have saved this man's life.
Never once in battle.
Look at him! Like a peacock with big moustache and gold buttons.
"I love my wife, I love my children,
"I have a big stick up my arsehole."
Tonight, we kill this man with lion's milk.
First Australian I met - not to shoot at, to talk to -
was a thief, at Lone Pine.
This man waves a white cloth,
calls out and walks straight across no-man's land.
He is carrying something.
A thousand guns are on him. Two thousand eyes. But he walks.
He reaches us and drops one of our wounded into our hands.
We shared a cigarette, and he walked back.
-No-one shot him?
-I should have.
It's only when he got back
I realised he had stolen my cigarettes.
And my lighter.
I'm sorry if I disturbed you. If I could pick up my bag...
Of course. Orhan put it in your room.
I wish to apologise for all I said.
I was angry. I meant none of it.
I'm the one who should be apologising.
You're right, I did fill their heads with heroic nonsense.
God and king and country.
It was my job to steer my boys to manhood.
And I failed them.
I measure a man by how much he loves his children,
not by what the world has done to them.
They'll be here for me in the morning.
You can't travel on an empty stomach.
ROMANTIC PIANO MUSIC DROWNS SPEECH
MAN SHOUTING: No!
CALL TO PRAYER
Mr Connor! Good morning. Come down here, please.
We've a very long walk to the dock.
Lieutenant, if you'd be so kind as to go down to the dock
and speak to the captain and make sure he holds that boat.
I saw him, I saw him clearly. He's not dead.
-You cannot go back.
-BANGING ON DOOR
-Kick that damn door in!
Go up over the roof. You can get to the city wall.
Where's Joshua Connor?!
Be careful of the tiles.
On the roof!
He's alive, I know he is.
Please, take me with you.
MAN SHOUTS ORDERS
Ambassador, what part of the Ottoman Empire did Australia get?
-It wasn't about land for us.
-Always it's about land.
We don't need any more land.
We fought for a principle.
You fight, you die, you get nothing.
A weapon, yes?
-In the right hands.
It's a game, called cricket.
-Yeah, it's a cricket bat.
-Yeah. Well, everybody plays.
Yeah, you need a ball and that's the bat.
-You need a lot of space.
So the idea is you have the ball
and you bowl it with a straight arm
and you try and hit the wicket.
That's the way. Straight arm.
Englishers, always with rules.
Give me the stick. Give me the stick.
The Greeks are deeper inland than I thought.
They terrorise the people and burn the towns.
We used to be one country. Now we are constantly at war.
Joshua, pick up a gun!
I'm from Australia...yes.
Anzac Bey! Don't invade a country if you don't know where it is.
MAN TALKS QUIETLY
HE REPEATS WORDS
Our horses need rest.
It is a miracle Allah turned a blind eye so long.
I will ride with you as far as Afyon.
Joshua! Where are you going? Afyon is this way.
Time to come home.
I'm not coming back.
None of us are.
She's with your brothers.
You told me to take care of them.
You said, "Look after your brothers." I didn't.
Henry had his face shot off.
One minute he was there and then he just...wasn't.
Ed bled out for hours.
I want Mum.
Someone will come for us.
I'm a gut-shot rabbit.
I can't shoot myself.
They won't let me into heaven.
You can't ask me.
-You have to do it.
You're my brother.
Climb onto the carpet, mate.
Let's get out of here.
Take me home, Artie.
It only works if you close your eyes.
I love you.
I killed them.
They can't come home.
It's all right to leave me here.
I didn't lift a finger to stop any of you.
I killed your brothers the day I waved you off.
your brothers live on in you.
You must go.
It's too dangerous here.
He's right, Joshua. The Greek soldiers are here.
I must leave now.
How do I thank you?
Tesekkurler, Hasan Bey.
Tell your son, when he's well...
Tell him he still owes me a packet of cigarettes.
And one lighter.
-Dad! This way!
Give us a hand.
This'll take you across the valley.
Once you pass the village, head north towards the coast
and follow it.
I'm not leaving without you.
I've buried your mother.
I've buried your brothers.
If you're not coming with me, I have nowhere to go.
Either we leave here together or we'll die here...
Is it cold?
When we finish here,
why don't we see if we can find some fresh clothes?
"You want room, clean sheets, hot water..."
Joshua Bey! You came back for me!
Welcome back, Mr Connor. Is this your son?
Orhan...help me show Arthur our second-best room.
You speak Turkish like a villager.
Am I welcome here?
All are welcome here.
You don't seem surprised that I'm back.
It was in your coffee, weeks ago, before you left.
I told you. Everything is in the coffee.
# Can be the enemy
# When you're locked in a world of pain
# Days go floating by
# And it just doesn't change
# It just stays the same
# Then you came along
# And showed me how to start
# Now the sun shines in my heart
# The sun shines in my heart
# I was so lost
# But now I'm found
# The song they used to sing
# On Sunday afternoon
# Love was my alibi
# For all the life lost
# Now you made love my reason
# You made love my truth
An Australian farmer travels to Turkey after the Battle of Gallipoli to try and locate his three missing sons. He discovers that one of his sons may actually still be alive.