Synopsis: Nick is a writer in New York when he gets posted to a bureau in Greece. He has waited 30 years for this. He wants to know why his mother was killed in the civil war years earlier. In a parallel plot line we see Nick as a young boy and his family as they struggle to survive in the occupied Greek hillside. The plot lines converge as Nick's investigations bring him closer to the answers.
Genre: Drama, War
Director(s): Peter Yates
Production: Warner Bros.
Rotten Tomatoes:
114 min



(MAN) I don't know the names.

- And are you going back?

- Maybe.

What crimes did you commit

during the war?

I thought we weren't going

to talk about that.

You don't have anything to worry about.

You can't be prosecuted, so why not?

What crimes did you commit

during the war?

They weren't crimes

when I committed them.

They became crimes

when we lost the war.

- Larry would like to see you, Nick.

- Can it wait?

Why? What's up?

- You got the job.

- In Athens?

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

Hear what?


(TV) The magic number is eight.

Any combination of eight wins...

- Dad?

...and the Sox win the Eastern Division.

Now turning to basketball. Last night

the Celtics won over the Rockets.

A strong performance by Larry Bird...


Dad, if you always fall asleep

during the news, you'll never keep up.

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

I get so upset at what I hear,

I can't sleep at night.

I'll make some coffee.

My grandson's birthday's coming up.

Does he want a bicycle?

I don't know.

He's a big boy. Nine years old.

The same age as I was

when I left Greece.

And I'm now the same age

as Mother was when she was killed.

- I got that job in Athens.

- But you promised Eleni.

Didn't she make you promise

that you'd never go back?


Yes, I promised.

I want to know why they tortured her,

why they killed her.

What it was like

to suffer the way she did.

Why do you want to know that?

Because I can't think of anything else.

Sometimes people say things

before they're killed or about to die,

and I want to know

what her last words were.


- Why now, all of a sudden?

- Things are converging.

You should forget these things.

I tried.

But there is one thing I can't forget,

this wonderful legal invention

called the statute of limitations.

After a certain amount of time,

you're absolved of all your crimes.

You committed atrocities during the war.

If you wait long enough, as if by magic,

you become innocent again.

In Greece,

you wait 30 years for innocence.

Thirty years are up.

The murderers, hiding in other countries,

are free to go back now.

The man responsible for my mother's

death could be innocent now.

And I sit here drinking coffee.

Nikki, you have waited

all this time for that?


No pencils. Nick, is that you?




- Hey!


Thank you.

Dear Mother of God,

we thank you for these blessings.

Dear Mother...

I... We...


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

- Oh!

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




Christ is risen!

Indeed He is risen.

- Christ is risen.

- Indeed He is risen.

- Does Father know that the war is over?

- Of course he knows.

- (MAN) Christ is risen!

- Indeed He is risen.

You said when the war was over

he'd write to tell us when he's coming.

You said by Easter we'd get a letter.

The war, the bombs,

they destroyed all the post offices.

The ships that carry the letters

across the sea were sunk.

All these things take time to rebuild.

Like our schoolhouse.

It just takes time.


Christ is risen, cousin.



You're old enough

to stand with the men now.

Go on.








Are you all right?

No, I'm not.

Your father called me

after you left the house today.

I thought he might.

He thinks I have some influence

over you, being your wife and all.

Don't give me that look!

How am I supposed to understand?

I don't want to argue with you.

Why do you have to go back?

We can work it out together here.

Here is not the problem.

What are you going to do in Athens?

What I normally do. I report stories.

- What stories?

- All kinds.

Yeah, about former Civil War criminals

returning after 30...

I'm aware of that.

Maybe they're all dead.

Gosh, I hope not.

If they aren't, what will you do

with these old men?

Probe them a bit,

ask them a few questions.

- What if they don't answer?

- Then I'll rephrase the question.

Nick, is it a requirement of being

a bureau chief in Athens to carry a gun?

Is it?

It used to be in the study,

then it disappeared. Where is it?

Is that how you'll ask questions,

with a gun?

No, you're a reporter, you don't have

to answer questions, just ask them.

- Nick, I know about your mother...

- I don't think you do.

You want to ruin everything over

something from some 30 years ago?

"Some 30 years ago"? "Some"?

People don't get murdered

at "some" point in time.

It wasn't "some" to her.

It was a specific year,

month, day, hour, minute.

A specific second

when the trigger was pulled.

Even then she was alive

until a split second later.

The bullet ended her life.

It wasn't "some" to her.

Not "some" at all.

Before there was England,

there was Greece.

Before there was America,

there was Greece.

And long before Greece

was a monarchy,

we were a democracy.

What is another name for a democracy?

- Republic.

- That's right.

And the Union of Soviet

Socialist Republics

is a democracy.

In a democracy,

all of us play an important part.


We pass laws.

And we obey them.

If you went home after school,

the doors were closed and your parents

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Steve Tesich

Stojan Steve Tesich (Serbian: Стојан Стив Тешић, Stojan Stiv Tešić; September 29, 1942 – July 1, 1996) was a Serbian American screenwriter, playwright and novelist. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay in 1979 for the movie Breaking Away. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Eleni" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 25 May 2024. <https://www.scripts.com/script/eleni_7562>.

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