March 1903. The Ottoman Empire is in a process disintegration. Only Macedonia is not still liberated in the Balkans. The Macedonian revolutionary movement is in full growth. The Turks are trying to keep their last bastion in Europe. The Macedonian people are being exposed to the most severe oppressions as it is due to the revenge of the Turks for supporting and protecting the komitadji (komita – a local guerilla freedom-fighter). In such a case the Turks besiege a village where were a weeding ceremony is taking place. They shoot at the peasants, round them up and most of them are being taken away. The groom is among them. More than two hundred people are taken prisoner in the fortress. They come from various villages. The Turks sentence them to from 15 to 101 years in prison. Among the prisoners are also the priest and the teacher from the village Vrbiany. The peasants are being taken away by train to Salonica and then by ship to Turkey. The Turkish non-commissioned officer (so called “chaush”) is in charge of the security of the prisoner’s transportation. Some of the prisoners are preparing an escape but it is hampered because of the Turk’s strong precautionary measures which are result of terrorist actions already carried out by the so called “gemidjii” (fighters for freedom of Macedonia). Then the prisoners are loaded on a ship and are transported to Asia Minor. The teacher tries to escape but it ends unsuccessfully. Because of this, the Macedonians are put into chains again. After their arrival the non-commissioned officer tells them that there is no escape from that terrible waste-land. On their way through the desert the Macedonians are exposed to various humiliations. The whole group encounter the Kurdish tribes who consider and control these regions as their own. Also the prisoners take part in the battle and get rifles in order to help the Turkish soldiers. The Turkish soldiers share the destiny of the prisoners on their awful journey, too. One of the prisoners is Synan, whose presence is not so clear to any of them. He becomes a friend with the non-commissioned officer. On their long journey the prisoners are barefoot and with wounded legs they cross the river Euphrates (Al Furat) with boats and arrive in a small town where they can buy food. A lot of them overeats and dies. The teacher uses the stay in the town and tries to escape. Even the local Turkish population helps him symphatizing with the prisoner’s sufferings. The travelling continues. They arrive an old classical town where the priest dies. On one occasion the non-commissioned officer tells Synan the cause of his own nightmares. In the past he killed his best friend considering him to be his wife’s lover. Being afraid of her brother’s revenge he went away with the prisoners. One of the peasants, Sekula, who tries to escape is captured and punished by cutting his feet. The Turks demand that he dance for them. He starts dancing the national dance “Teshkoto”. The other prisoners, sufferers join him. In October 1908, the prisoners arrive at the place where they are to serve the sentence. Now when the non-commissioned officer is very satisfied with the fulfilled work, Synan comes to him and kills him. He is the brother of the non-commissioned officer’s dead best friend. The sentenced peasants are greeted by the Greek priest who informs them about their amnesty. Now all of them are free and they can return to their homes. Again they are to set out for a long trip. This time they are alone. There is nobody to lead them. The teacher appears from distance and joins them. Again their trip is full of danger. All of the survived peasants begin their journey back to their villages in Macedonia.
1.65GB | 1 h 56 min | 883×552 | mkv