Roza of Smyrna (2016) Script

...The servant of God, George, is betrothed to the servant of God, Roza.

In the Name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

The servant of God, Roza, is betrothed to the servant of God, George...

At that time there was a marriage at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus...

Rejoice, O Isaiah! A Virgin is with child...

Don't! Stop! No!

No! Don't! Don't!

Go! Go!


...a new provocation...

The Turkish research vessel entered Greek maritime territory with a military escort, violating international law.

The Greek government reacted forthwith with a firm statement through our embassy in Ankara.

In a declaration to the international press the Greek government spokesman stressed today, that any further violation will be considered an aggressive act against the Greek sovereign state.

...The following unprecedented statement, which essentially and officially disputes Greek sovereign territory, was made by the Turkish Minister of Defense as an answer to a question by MPs of the nationalist opposition party.

In regards to what actions can be taken by Turkey to stop the illegal as they claimed, possession of these islands by Greece...

Speaking in parliament, the Minister of Defense stated that Turkey is negotiating and discussing with Greece the status quo of the sixteen islands, whose sovereignty Turkey disputes...

Good morning Mr. Serefis. Good morning.

We cannot cancel the exhibition!

In this political climate? As if nothing is happening? Forget it!

The collectors have started pulling back. They're cancelling entries.

If things continue this way, I'm afraid Turkish funding will be history!

What are you talking about? We've been working on this exhibition for years!

Do you realize how close we are to a war?

This isn't a simple border violation!

The Cassiotis collection withdrew our center piece.

I just spoke with their legal counsel.

Let's postpone the exhibition until things quiet down.

There isn't going to be a war!

Three months ago, during the border skirmishes the newspapers reported the same.

Skirmishes? The Turkish patrol opened fire! Unprovoked! People were injured!

Our soldiers shot at them, too!

Two Turkish soldiers were injured... Correct?

Shouldn't our soldiers defend themselves?

Why should we always be the ones that retreat, show restraint?

Help me understand!

We are not going to cancel the exhibition.

In any case, now it's more timely than ever!

You insist on impossible things.

Our exhibition showcases what survived - The daily life of Greeks from Asia Minor.

Our uprooted families! Our lost lives! Our belongings!

Yes, but there are items from other nationalities too, they all lived together, We have Turkish objects as well. That's why we have Turkish sponsors too, don't forget!

Turks have two faces.

As soon as they find the opportunity, they become ruthless.

Dimitris! History is HERE, it speaks for itself!

Smyrna, Constantinople, Cyprus... Today it's the Aegean, tomorrow, will be Thrace.

Dimitris, our focus is the promotion of cultural heritage.

I expect you to exhibit constraint.

When things get tough, you stand up and fight. You don't give up!

Let's not cancel anything yet.

If necessary, we will replace the exhibits.

You can count on me! Please.

I wouldn't even bother to throw it away.

I guess, so it goes: One man's trash is another man's treasure!

It's perfect!

So, when do I see the masterpieces you create out of these?

You know... "Don't make...

...empty promises... " I know, Mr. Stelios, I know. You will see them soon!


You've got anything new?

What you gave me last time has nothing to do with Asia Minor.

How would I know? I am not an expert...

Don't give me that! I know your eye cannot be fooled.

I dug out a porcelain tea set... It should work for you.

Nothing is "special” enough for this guy. But he pays well.

Thank you, Mr. Stelios. See you soon.

Thank you.

Don't worry about it. Be well.

Good luck to you too!

And don't stress out Mr. Stelios too much.

"Those who worry don't live long", my grandma always says.

Look at the detail.

Exquisite set!

It looks too "European” to me.

It is. It shows the Greek Community's standard of living in Smyrna.

Of course, we need something more personal as the central exhibit, and we don't have that yet; something special, a trademark that will act as a magnet.

Something you won't be able to take your eyes off, a piece that speaks for itself.

We need a piece with soul!

Lost homelands are wounds of the Greek soul.

Even for those who do not come from those parts...

Asia Minor is etched in the collective subconscious of the Greeks, as the lost Paradise.

Dimitris, we need an exhibit which will evoke memories, without fuelling hatred!

We live in two different worlds, Rita.

You grew up in Paris, I grew up in Constantinople.

But we both live in Athens; a city that doesn't have very good antique dealers, as you always say.

Have you considered searching across?



You think the Turks saved Greek mementos?

Life is never completely erased. It always leaves traces.

You only need an experienced eye!

A trip to Smyrna would be good for us.

I will take on the sponsors and you can stroll the bazaars.

Let's go to Smyrna! Let's give us a chance...

I'm making special meatballs for you! I used cumin, just like you do.

Listen, the person who fools me has not been born yet... Been there, done that.

Fine, what do you want me to say? Three of my students dropped out.

That's why we are three thousand short...

You should charge them!

I'm not an idiot, grandma... Of course I will charge them.

I called them already.

Right, I've seen how you called them!

They owe us three thousand and you're embarrassed to ask for it.

You must charge your lessons in advance, child.

Every first of the month, and whoever likes it.

Ah, grandma, what kind of world do you live in? "In advance... "

I got a call from Mrs. Lambridou. Her nieces would like to start French lessons.

I'm going to schedule them on Wednesdays, I've got the afternoons free.

So it's a good fit; one to four o'clock.

Grandma, you promised. You need to rest. Didn't the doctor say the same thing?

My French is what raised you!

Foreign languages will always be a great asset! Especially the European ones!

Oh Grandma...

Don't worry about me... A creaking door hangs the longest.

Good morning!

What time is it?

Get up, I can't wait to get out. To explore Smyrna.

I'm meeting the sponsors in the afternoon. Come on, get up...

Come here... You want to bargain with me?

Forget about it! Our guide is waiting.

What guide?

A guide can only show us where to buy souvenirs and leather.

Unless you're planning to buy a bag, or something!

He has the best references. He participates in academic conferences...

Great! In that case, he will describe with academic accuracy, which ones were the Greek houses they burned, which families they ruined...

Let's see just how educated he is!

Please don't make a scene, don't make me regret everything.

Ms. Margarita? Yes.

Good morning.

You speak Greek?

A little. My name is Omer Kavour.

My family came from Crete. My grandmother spoke only Greek until she died.

I can speak only little Greek, but I understand enough.

What a beautiful surprise!

Good morning Omer. My name is Rita and this is Dimitris.

Nice to meet you!

Welcome to Izmir, Smyrna! My family's from Resmo...



And you?

From Polis. Constantinople.

I asked for a rental car...

I have the key already!

So! We can start from the Kemeralti Bazaar, the historical market of the city?

Is it near the old Greek neighborhood?

No, but I thought you were interested in-

Everything that's left from the Greeks, before the day of the mass-

Dimitris! We asked someone to show us around. We're not here to fight.

That's what I said: show us what's left of Greek Smyrna.

Not much.

I'm afraid...

Let's have some coffee first and make our plans. Okay?

Okay, let's go!

What does this say?

It's an order... to the Army.


It says, "Your first target is the Mediterranean Sea".

So you can turn it red from the blood of the massacres.

That's exactly what happened in 1922.

The blood of helpless women, children and old people.

It was the war... Both armies killed civilians.

Dimitris, please.

The slayer of peoples, a hero!

Relax, please, each nation defends its own interests!

War crimes are still crimes, Rital Get over it; it happened sixty years ago, or more...!

We were kicked out thirty years ago.

And they invaded Cyprus twelve years ago!

You know what? Enough. I am done!

Mr. Kavour I'm sorry, I have to go.

Mr. Serefis will pay you. Thank you, anyway.

You're welcome!


Rita! Rita!

You have to apologize...

Not to me. To your girlfriend.

She's not an enemy!

My child what are you going to do with all this rubbish?

Why don't you paint a nice painting, have an exhibition.

People should see and appreciate your talent!

Your students will respect you!

Grandma, you have your French, I have my art...

Fine. Should I prepare something for you? You haven't eaten.

Grandma, please!

This is a place for tourists Omer...

There are no real antiques here.

Okay, come.

Come! Please, come!

Hello, Omer. Hello! Hello!

Mrs. Asli, this is Mr. Dimitris.

Hello, nice to meet you!

Nice to meet you, too.

Please, come in.

We can take a seat, here.

How can I help you?

My sister, do you have any old things from the Greeks?

Is he Greek?

Yes. Do you have any of the stuff the Greeks left behind? In their homes?

There are a lot of old things. For example, that kemenche over there...

It was brought in by an old man, who knew how to play it.

No. He's looking for something old from the Greeks.

Is he married?

He has a girlfriend. Why?

It's okay.

Look at this beautiful lace! It's from Bruges...

It's a very expensive wedding dress. Pure silk! The best.

Isn't it beautiful? Very nice, huh? It's a bit stained, but don't worry.

Nowadays, they have some very good sprays for all kinds of stains.

It will be as good as new.

What does she know about the blood? Ask her!

The day they went to Izmir for the wedding, there was a big fire.

The day of the events...

She says the wedding day was on the day of Great Fire in Smyrna.

The day of the massacres you mean...

What did he say?

Sister, what do you know about this wedding dress?

What could I know? I wasn't even born then.

Where did she find the dress?

Tell him, I give it half price.

Half price for you, okay?

Tell him, just for him, because he's Greek.

Dimitris, don't buy it, it's a rag... Bad luck!...

No, no... Where did she find the dress? Ask her!

Sister, where did you find this wedding dress?

I didn't find it. My father found it.

What about her father?

What does he know?

She doesn't know, her father found it.

Tell me the dress' story... I'll give you full price.

Tell me, I will give you your money.

My father told me that the family was ready to leave for Greece.

Packed suitcases, supplies, everything was ready.

The young couple would go first, the bride's relatives would follow.

They were in a hurry to have the wedding earlier.

At the time, my father was working for the family. They trusted him.

That's why they handed him the house keys for Bornova.

So he could look after it while they were away.

They went to Smyrna for the wedding, the day of the big fire.

Who died, who lived... no one knows. But none of them came back.

My father kept looking after the house, for years, he kept it locked, but none of them returned and never asked about it.

Then refugees started coming. They took over the houses left behind by the Greeks.

It was hard times... We were very poor, we had no money, and the house had valuable things.

Your father... Where did he find the dress?

Maybe back at the house?

Where is this house?

In Bornova. It was bought by a rich man.

An old-fashioned, eclectic man. A friend of my father's.

Do you know the family's name?

No, I don't know.

Where is your father? Can we talk to him?

If he was here... But he's traveling to Kayseri, on business.

He is returning next week. If you come back, you'll find him.

I have an old photograph. My father says that girl is the bride.

I will give you this photo along with the dress, may it bring you good luck!

So you've been making a fool out of me the whole day! You speak Turkish very well.

We must go to Bornova Omer.

To Bornova? Why?

I want to see this house.

It's 1987, Mr. Serefis.

What do you think you'll find in Bornova? Everything has changed!

We need to get back to the hotel before it gets dark.

What's so important for you about this dress?


Written by whom?

The facts cannot be denied!

"In war the truth is the first casualty. ” I think a Greek said that. Aeschylus?

"My dearest daughter, my Roza.

I hope that we will reunite in Greece soon, God willing.

Regardless, I feel the need to repeat in writing what I've already told you in person, just in case. "

Don't! Don't!

Grandma, are you okay?

Why are you up?

I got worried.

Go to sleep, I am fine, nothing to worry about...

"My dearest daughter, my Roza.

Upon your arrival to Mytilini you shall go to the store of Mr. Petropoulos.

He will give you 100 golden pounds and your tickets to Piraeus.

Frixos Kotoglou, your husband's cousin in Athens, has been advised to hold for you the newly built house on Evelxides street, behind the Palace, which was bought as a dowry, in your husband's name.

In a joint account at the Greek National Bank some money has also been deposited to cover your initial expenses.

Also, I remind you that the password for your safe deposit box at Lloyds, in Geneva, is your date of birth. "

Rita told me the wonderful news.

Your persistence paid off, Serefis. What a find!

Rita secured the Turkish sponsors, you found the central exhibit. We did it!

And if this Mrs. Roza is still alive, we could even do a TV show, interview her.

Do you think that's a good move?

I hope she's alive; it would be great publicity for the exhibit!

Just bring the dress in so we can see it. It needs to be photographed.

The time frame is tight at the printing house.

Yes, I will bring it in.

In case you do find this Roza, we won't focus only on the unpleasant memories, okay?

We want the positive ones, wedding customs, you know...

This dress presents a great opportunity.

So you didn't tell him what it's all about!

You covered up the most important part!

I just didn't tell him about the blood. No need anyway.

But he will find out sooner or later.

Dimitris, we can only include the dress in the exhibition if it's cleaned.

Meaning, only if we cover up the truth...

But we don't know the truth!

Do you want the exhibition to happen, or not?

Because it can only work as an exhibition of our common cultural heritage.

Otherwise why would the Turks be part of it? Why should they fund it?

We would be making fools out of them; it would be like setting them up!

I will help you find her... But I need you to promise me that you won't mix up her personal stories with the exhibition.

These personal stories, as you say, might concern all of us. All Greeks!

Fine, let's assume you find this Mrs. Roza. What happens then?

Who knows? Perhaps her relatives are alive...

Or, her inheritance is still around, somewhere - I don't know...

Maybe we can do something to help her.

Isn't that a little far-fetched?

What business do you have interfering with other people's affairs?

That's the unbridgeable difference between us.

Some "affairs" that mean nothing to you, mean the world to me...

You are willing to gamble the whole exhibition, because you are suddenly attracted by the prospect of acting like a Robin Hood!

We don't understand each other, Rita. It is sad...

You don't get me and I can't give you what it is you want.

Why don't you just come out with it then?

Are we done?

I told him we are gathering information for the exhibition.

No mention of the dress, blood, or anything else.

We just want this lady's last name.

Besides, he is Kotoglou's grandson, born twenty-three years after the events.

He might have never even heard of her.

Roza, you said?

Yes, married in '22 to a relative of yours.

Roza Bebeoglou. Sure. My parents and my grandfather used to talk about her.

I never met her. I don't even know where she is, or if she's alive.

Their family name was Ebeoglou.

She changed it to Bebeoglou when she came to Greece.

I don't know why.

She arrived to Greece in '22, after the Great Fire. All alone, as far as I know.

None of her family survived. She never wanted to talk about it.

My grandfather was willing to help her of course. She was pregnant, he said.

Do you know what happened to her husband? He was your grandfather's cousin, right?

Isigonis. Yes. They never found out what happened to him...

Her behavior was strange, from what they said. Like she had something to hide.

She did everything in her power to cover her tracks.

Maybe she was ashamed of something. Who knows.

My father used to call her crazy. It was difficult times for those people.

Even those who had some sort of shelter or an asset here, were taken advantage of.

They called them "Turkish seeds”, you must know all this...

Roza lost everything the way she acted.

Right. We don't want to waste anymore of your time, thank you very much.

Did you say you were an architect?

Have you ever dealt with restorations of neoclassical buildings?

I ask because there is an old family house on Evelxides Street, behind the Palace...

They stole this woman's house! And I bet you, they took her money, too!

Dimitris, take it easy...

Didn't the letter say it was a joint account?

Being a lawyer, the old man knew what to do!

Let's wait and see. How do you know that's how things panned out?

They probably used Roza's money to finance their business.

The house was bought as a dowry in the husband's name.

But what happened to the husband? Why meddle with it?

How will you figure it out after so many years?

For starters, the old woman may no longer live, or she may be half-mad, or suffering from dementia and lying forgotten in some institution...


You know, before my mother died, I thought often - if I could turn back the clock.

Go find our old house in Constantinople and bring something back for her.

Her perfume bottles.

That she loved so much...

Grandma that's dangerous!

You can't invite people to our home just because you like their voice!

The girl works with institutions and museums. She is an Art Historian.

That's the kind of connections you need; professionals, people of a certain class that can appreciate your art.

Not junk collectors and junk dealers!

So, you invited them over for my sake?

Go put on something nice.

You should say you are a Painter. A Painter, nothing else!

My granddaughter is very excited to meet you.

Is that your granddaughter in that photo?

That's right.

What's her name? Marianna Bebeoglou.

Since you are in the arts, you may have heard of her!

She is incredibly talented! This is her work.

My son and my daughter-in-law.

They died many years ago. In a car crash.

I raised Marianna alone, since she was ten years old.

I imagine it must have been very hard for you.

Hard or not, it is what it is. And when there is a child involved...

I know Mrs. Roza, I know.

But I also know that people like you, don't give up easily.

So, Mrs. Bebeoglou, as I told you over the phone, this is an exhibition about the Greek families of Smyrna.

We want to show their daily lives in the beginning of the 20th century, their customs, the prosperity of the Greek community and since your family is one of the most important families that comes from-

It was... one of the most important families, mademoiselle...

Here you are, sweetheart... Come in!

Don't mind me... Do you need anything, grandma?

We have guests! Let me introduce you. Mr. Serefis...

Dimitris. Marianna, nice to meet you.

Miss, is that right? Miss Margarita Darra.

Nice to meet you. Me too.

So, what can I do for you?

We have already organized some interviews that will be filmed, and we have secured photographs taken from family archives entrusted to us...

We would like to bring back to life all aspects of the social life of Smyrna, before the Great Fire.

And we believe people's testimonies will contribute significantly to this effort.

I'm not sure I understand what you want from me.

Mrs. Ebeoglou, let me explain...

Bebeoglou Mr. Serefis. Be-beoglou!

Bebeoglou, I beg your pardon.

While searching for material for the exhibition, we found at an antique store in Smyrna, something that is probably of interest to you.

A letter.

A letter? What kind of letter, Mr. Serefis?

An old letter outlining your assets...

But they lost everything... Grandma's family...

Nothing was left...

A letter from whom?

And how do you know it was addressed to me?

It is from your mother.

I don't know what you're talking about.

Mrs. Roza, did you find any of your relatives when you came to Greece?

Forgive my prying, but the letter mentions an account in the National Bank and a safety deposit box at Lloyds in Geneva...

What do you want from me?

How are you connected with my family?

I lost everything; my family, my fortune, everything.

Along with Smyrna!

Don't misunderstand me Mrs. Roza, I just want to help.

What exactly do you need from me, Mr. Serefis?

Grandma... You should tell me the truth.

Would you like some water?

If you want to help someone, help my granddaughter.

You should leave Smyrna out of it, it no longer exists!

As for me, I don't need any help, thank you.

Please, don't think badly of her, she gets upset when people talk about Smyrna.

She doesn't want to remember.

Once I dared to ask her about it, and all hell broke loose!

She never spoke to you about your grandfather?

His name was Isigonis, right?

No! Our last name is Bebeoglou. I didn't have a grandfather named Isigonis!

Was that in the letter too?

We can discuss it some other time.

Thank your grandmother on our behalf. I apologize for upsetting her.

It's okay.

In case my grandma decides, if she tells me, I don't know how to...

You can contact "HESTIA".

Your work is really good. Very smart combinations...

Thank you.

Let's send the dress to the cleaner's tomorrow, get it over with.

We'll get nowhere with Mrs. Roza...

Livelier than life The dream makes me suffer And an unspeakable anger Oh, this unspeakable anger Awakens, it stirs me

Hurry up, dawn and resurrect The buzzing crowd So Time may soon forget me And forgive

What if he's right? What if this safe deposit box really exists?

Stop being naive Marianna! There's always a catch.

Do you know many men who go digging for lost treasures, for free?

And even more so - to benefit an old woman, who's a complete stranger to them? okay! So what do they want from us?

I don't know, and I don't want to know.

Just think about it: what if Mr. Serefis really discovered...

I don't know what Mr. Serefis has in mind.

But if you feel so lucky, go play Lotto!

I never heard of anyone turn their back on so much money.

Either the money's not there and she knows it, or she's hiding something from us.

I agree. There is no need to get involved in other people's business.

As soon as we get the dress cleaned up, we should set up the photo shoot for the catalogue.

Something serious happened to this family. I'm sure of it.

How old is the granddaughter?

She acts like a teenager, but she's approaching thirty.

She didn't even know her grandfather's name.

And honestly, did you really like her "artwork"?

For me, the matter is closed, we have much more serious issues to deal with.

We are way off the exhibition schedule.

Dark secrets and street artists, are not my priority.

The exhibition is about the lives, the pain of these people! It isn't just folklore!

But in France they know nothing about refugees or uprootings.

At most, they might discuss about the Pieds-Noirs and their colonies!

You are trapped in your own little world, with your obsessions and utopias!

It's pointless. We speak a different language!

Do you think my family harmed Roza? That they stole her house?

Oh, come on, I wasn't born yesterday!

The house was Roza's dowry.

Bought in her husband's name, Isigonis, who was my grandfather's first cousin.

That's how it was back then.

The husband disappeared and she wanted nothing to do with the house.

She didn't even keep his name.

As if the wedding never happened, or, as if she had something to hide.

I didn't want to say it in front of the young lady the other day, but back then, everybody thought Roza had been raped.

She was pregnant when she came here.

Isigonis probably abandoned her after that, but... who knows?

My parents spent years trying to sort out the assets; the ownership titles, the taxes, you know how it goes...

In your opinion, do you think Roza loved her husband?

It was an arranged marriage.

Supposedly they "learned" to love them in time...

Thank you. And I am sorry if I gave you the impression that I suspected something illegal in regards to the house.

I would have thought the same, in your place.

Thank you for helping me with the permits, I appreciate it.

Good morning.

Mr. Serefis...

I should have called first, I apologize.

No, no problem at all.

I know how busy you are, I'll only take a minute of your time.

About that letter you mentioned...

Let's leave behind the formalities.

I need a coffee. Will you be my guest?

If you have time that is...

I was only thinking of you...

I have time, Marianna. Plenty time... Shall we?

Let's go.

I'll be back. Okay.

There's really no one else, just the two of us.

I'm working as hard as I can to cover at least my own expenses, but it's not enough...

And grandma is not well, it's her heart, and she has to take care of herself!

She needs to stop working but we cannot afford that.

That's why I'm here, if there's a chance the money exists...

The letter...

You look like her.

A lot.

Without the beauty spot...

I would love to know more about my family.

I adore my grandma but she is like a sphinx, she won't say a word...

These people have been through a lot.

It is not easy for them to talk about it.

I don't want her to suffer.

She keeps having nightmares, and she doesn't take care of herself, at all!

What if something happens to her?

That's why I keep telling you, if there was a chance...

I will help you.

If that safe deposit box...

In any way I can.

Mr. Serefis... Dimitris, why do you care to help us so much?

You don't even know us...

Let's just say it's a personal debt.

We also lost everything. In '55, in Constantinople.

My father's shop in Pera, our property abandoned...

But why am I telling you all this now?

No, no, I want to know.

I don't even know our own history.

I may know ours, but what good is there in that?

How did you put it? "Those who worry, don't live long", right?

My grandma says that, when did I say it?

In Mr. Stelios' antique shop.

Mr. Stelios' antique shop?

Never mind, Marianna. I remember.

How long have you been together with Rita?

I'm sorry, that's being indiscrete...

We were together.

Do you know what time is it?

Grandma! What are you doing here?

Your four o'clock lesson called. You didn't show up.

Where were you? Why did you miss your appointment?

Horrible traffic today. I got stuck in traffic.

Don't give me that! Don't lie to me!

Come out with it! Where were you all this time?

I need all the pieces catalogued by Wednesday.

If you want the dress in, you've got to get it cleaned immediately.

What for?

The Turkish sponsors want the exhibition to open in Smyrna first, and then in Athens.

Who makes that decision?

The situation has changed Dimitris.

The Turkish side is now putting up almost all of the funds.

Are we all on the same page? We're good?

Serefis hasn't given up on us yet... I'm working on it!

This was taken in '55, just when we arrived in Greece.

I don't know many things about back then;

I was never good at History.

I didn't like it, it made me sad.

Maybe because of grandma...

Stories are my passion.

People's stories are like their shadows.

Always following them, even when they don't feel it.

And what about old objects. That also interests you...

You too, I believe.

I'm not interested in their old use.

I reshape them, transform them into something else.



The two countries are being led towards a diffusion of the crisis, following the withdrawal of the Turkish research vessel that violated Greek territorial waters.

The vessel returned in the early hours to the Bay of Smyrna where it remains docked, while the Greek naval units that rushed to the region remain vigilant with a discreet presence.

Greece remains committed to the principles of legality and of the law faithfully respecting international agreements.

This was stated by the government spokesman in this morning's newscast on the state radio.

The British Minister of Foreign Affairs...

Could it be hers?

I have no idea.

Last night she mumbled the name Isigonis.

Isn't he supposed to be my grandfather?

She keeps a pack of unread letters in a box. From Smyrna.

The dates on the seals are before I was born.

But they are addressed to "Roza Ebeoglou".

And the sender?

Only two capital initials: lota, Sigma. lota, Sigma? In Greek?

I never dared to touch them...

They are all sealed. She never opened them either. Why...

Sorry! How stupid of me! What did I do!

Never mind, never mind...

Don't worry about it. It happens.


Make me something with them. Transform them!

Whatever the details, it's obvious: Roza left Isigonis.

That's why she also left the house to him.

Then, maybe he died, or they just lost touch with one another, it doesn't matter...

Tragedies... Won't be the first, or the last.

After all these years the account at the National Bank may not be active, but what about the safe deposit box in Geneva?

The letter clearly states that the passcode is her date of birth.

So, let's find out when her birthday is.

Fine, so we find out Roza's date of birth. That's done.

Let me tell you something.

Perhaps you need to be more careful with the young lady?

Rita is suffering, can't you see it?

I was never good at break-ups.

Could it be you're giving up without a fight?

Let it be, Giorgos, I did fight. It won't work.

I'm in the East and she's of the West.

Yes, but for us, what is "East", has always meant a melting pot...

Oh, enough with your legalese...

Can I speak to Mr. Serefis, please?

I want you to stop interfering with my personal affairs and please, leave my granddaughter alone!

It might be difficult for you to understand, but I just want to help you...

Upsetting our lives isn't helping me!

Please listen to me. I know what you went through.

I know how hard it must have been for you...

You know? What is it you know? You know nothing.

Mrs. Bebeoglou, I found this letter in the lining of your wedding dress...

What wedding dress?

What are you talking about? You're wrong. There is no wedding dress!

I might not know the details, but I can understand the Hell you went through.

You know nothing of Hell, Mr. Serefis.

You only think you do...

Leave my granddaughter alone, she needs to take care of her future.

Don't poison her with the past, it has nothing to do with her.

Or with you...

Have a good day.

Marianna's grandfather didn't die in Smyrna, isn't that right?

And he kept looking for you afterwards, am I right?

Please... leave me alone...

What's done cannot be undone.

You loved him, didn't you, Mrs. Roza?

My Marianna. She has done nothing wrong...

Is it okay?

Ebeoglou and Bebeoglou! Both names!

Okay, Omer?


My first secret was My love for you Crested waves On a scarlet shore My fate engraved On a sharpened knife An orphan mumble Which rose blooms in the fire?

Which love is silenced?

White lace red wound deeply hidden White lace red wound deeply covered

Anything they remember. Every detail is important.

We must find Isigonis.

I understand, although I am a Turk...

I am sorry, my friend.

You know, Omer, your name is a Greek name: Omiros, the author of Iliad!

You think so? It sounds similar, but its origin is Arabic:

Omar, Omar means "the speaker".

But, maybe, Arabs used the name of the Greek poet, who actually was born in Smyrna...

There are seven cities claiming his birthplace...

But my family name is Greek, a hundred per cent:

Kavour, from "Kavouras", like crab, you know...

My family name in Crete was Kavourakis!

Kavourakis. Kavour...




Stop calling him! Let him look for you.

I was calling a student of mine to confirm...

Don't give me that! Not to me.

Let's go! Didn't the doctor say I should walk? Let's go.

Ismet had a stroke. He died in Kayseri.

His daughter closed the shop.

I am late, damn, I am late.

My friend...

You couldn't do anything about it.

If it's written to find Isigonis, we will find him!

Have some faith now. okay?

Nobody called you?

The old people of Smyrna, most of them are dead...

Maybe we must also publish it in the local press, Omer...

Ah, we can do it.

Excuse me sir, a man is looking for you. He says it's important, it's about the ad.

I know Mr. Kulaksiz by name.

He's a very rich and very powerful man.

He is very interested in the art...

Have a seat. The gentleman will join you in a little while.

Would you like something to drink?



Mr. Kulaksiz is a famous art collector.

His house in Istanbul is like a museum!

I've seen photos in magazines.



Excuse me for keeping you waiting.

I don't speak Greek very well.

Many years ago we all spoke, now only old men like me still remember.

Mr. Serefis speaks Turkish very well.

He comes from Istanbul you know.

And you are a Turk?

Yes sir, from Izmir.

I speak a bit of Turkish, but I understand.

Well, maybe we talk in English. This is our common language now.

So, I was informed you were wishing to exhibit a controversial piece...

And you have created quite a stir in our government circles...

Now that there are good feelings between our two countries.

It is important to support efforts to bridge our differences and wars...

I don't want to see your exhibition getting canceled Mr. Serefis.

I can work to smooth out any obstacle of Turkish side.

What makes you care about Greece, Mr. Koulaxis?

If you excuse me.

I like to show you something.

Just a second...

Please, take a look. Please.

I am searching for this woman and my child, Mr. Serefis.

Are you convinced this is Isigonis...?

At that time, many people had to pass for Turks, just to survive...

Why are you so invested in this family Mr. Serefis?

They're not your family. At least not yet...

"You don't need a guide for the obvious... "

"You don't need a guide for the obvious... " We use the same proverb in Greek.

Cheers, my friend!

Thank you so much, my friend!

Dimitris, I have good news:

The safe deposit box at Lloyds does exist.

Well done! I was sure. Have you seen Marianna?

Good luck with sorting that out.

You have made a mess with your women, Serefis!

Marianna guess what, I have amazing news!

You could have told me that you were going away!...

I didn't want to upset you before I had something concrete!

It's my family you are looking for, right?

Don't you owe me an update? Show some respect!

But I went there for you! For you and for Roza.

Fine and why didn't you tell me?

What were you afraid of? That I would stop you or that I would tell grandma? What?

But I told you, I didn't have anything concrete...

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

Grandma knows what's going on.


I want to meet him!

For the first time in my life, I want to know everything.

About the past I mean.

But we must find the right way to tell grandma.

I told her once, when I was a little girl, that God doesn't exist.

That if he did, he wouldn't let my mom and dad die.

I was crying.

She held me in her arms, until I fell asleep.

I think she was crying, too.

She had a lot of patience with me, but she didn't spare me...

You don't spare anyone either... okay, I'm like her in many ways...

But I don't always get her.

Why does she blame herself, if grandpa abandoned her and renounced his faith?

Where was she at fault?

She appears to be strong, but something is eating her up inside...

You know, I met someone in Smyrna...

The man who helped me find your grandfather. We became friends.

Imagine that. Me, having a Turk as a friend!

His family comes from Crete.

Refugees as well, they left during the population exchange, the Turko-Cretans as they were called.

I finally understood that being uprooted was not something we only experienced.

Only we didn't do any massacres.

Grandma told me once, we weren't exactly saints either...

Probably, but we didn't wipe out whole peoples, we didn't organize genocides!

The point is to never allow something like that to happen again.

The solution is not to cover it up.

We ought to know. So we won't let it happen again.


Dimitris, there's something wrong with this whole thing. Are you there?

The code doesn't match. Do you understand what I'm saying?

The safe deposit box at Lloyds is there, but the numbers don't match - the date.

It's either wrong, or the code has been changed.

I will tell you a secret, but you must promise not to tell...

Grandma likes you a lot...

She is even preparing a dinner for you, with recipes from Smyrna, to treat you for her birthday!

After the fact, of course, but you were in Turkey on her birthday...

Why, when is it her birthday? Isn't it on the 27th?

Sure, if you follow the Gregorian calendar.

But based on the new one it was the 14th.

She might have changed it on her ID, but she celebrates her birthday based on the old calendar.

The calendar changed in '24, Giorgos!

We used the date corresponding to the Julian calendar.

But the code followed the Gregorian one, 13 days earlier!

Yes, Marianna knows it and she agrees, she will also talk to Roza.

All we need now is a written authorization from Roza, Marianna can go to Geneva and it's done...

Listen, I have to hang up, I have another line. okay, goodbye, okay.


When did he call? You should have connected me!

Which hotel?...

Good morning! Welcome to Athens!

Nice to see you. Have a seat Dimitris.

Marianna can't wait to meet you.

Mr. Isigonis...


Isigonis is dead!

Roza didn't send you to Turkey to find Isigonis!

But you're Marianna's grandfather... Aren't you?

Yes, I am Marianna's grandfather and Roza was my love.

But... you are not Isigonis?

I am Ismael Koulaksiz. But you know this...

You looked to find Marianna's Greek grandfather.

You never thought I might be Turk?

Everything I told you about my Roza is true.

I loved her.

I would give my life to make her happy. If she would let me.

Mr. Serefis, I want you to give this letter to Roza.

Will you?


Come on in. My girl will be back in a minute...

She's over the moon with joy...

I can't thank you enough, Mr. Serefis... Words can't describe.

Thank me for what, Mrs. Roza?

God bless you! Come, come in. Let's not stand by the door...

Shall I make some coffee?

No thank you, I had one already.

The letter for the exhibition arrived!

Such an honor, inviting her to an international showcase...

They even sent her a check...


You organized everything, with Ms. Rita, didn't you?

We owe it all to you, I know... I knew it right away.

No, Mrs. Roza. We weren't involved at all.

Come on son, may I call you son?

You can deny it all you want, I don't believe it.

Things like this don't just happen...

Someone has to give it a push...

That's true.

Who would have thought! In Turkey!

I contacted the secretariat at the Ministry and found out my sponsor's name...

We should send him a telegram tomorrow to thank him.

Did you get his address?

He is from Smyrna.

He is an important businessman and art collector...

His name is Ismael Koulaksiz...


Grandma? Grandma?

Are you okay? Do you need your pills?...

A voice awakens me

In an enclosed yard

In yesterday's hideouts Innermost chords that you touch

Oh, Time alchemist Ransom, tear, fire What unanswered secrets Am I looking for?

I will come to you

Against all time

This is the first time she went on a plane, she was scared.

Don't spare me

Just trust me

A voice awakens me

Ms Bebeoglou?


Welcome to Istanbul.

A swelling sea

Under the moonlight A noose of thoughts

The sting of absence And a dream's shadow An embrace, a thousand wounds I count

I will come to you

Against all time

Don't spare me

Just trust me I feel like Cinderella... when the clock strikes midnight, the dream will be lost and I'll be back in my little workshop, covered in my ashes...

And you? How are you?

I don't know.

Constantinople feels both like home and a strange place...

From now on we will have also nice memories from Turkey. Right?

Go and check if she's ready.

I promised her we'd go to Aghia Sophia later...

I'm exhausted...

The trip took a lot out of me.

At my age I don't have the energy for sightseeing.

Anything I can bring you?

No, no, I have everything. Including my one thousand pills...

Go on, go be by her side. Kiss her good luck...

But try not to worry her, I am fine.

I just want to sleep a bit. I need it.

We can go to Aghia Sophia another day.

"Roza, my darling... my only love...

I can't stop thinking about you, please answer my letters... "

"Roza, my beloved...

I will carry on writing to you till the day I die.

I am now in the position to make you happy, but you...

I bought your house in Bornova, I saved it!

That house awaits you, it is yours... "

Our youth is our future. We must invest in them.

Our youth should work alongside the young people of Europe, to create not only art but also a new world.

We, the elders, are obliged to stand behind them, and assist them in this direction.

Hello. Hello.

May I have Marianna Bebeoglou's price list, please?

Are you looking to buy? Yes.

I'm sorry; you're out of luck. Mr. Ismael bought all her pieces.

I would like to take you out to dinner this evening.

We both know it's time to tell Marianna the truth.

I'm an old man Mr. Serefis. I don't have time to waste.

I will send my driver to pick you up.

You shouldn't have agreed. What will people say, if they see her with him?

The artist going out with her sponsor?

It will give ground to those who want to circulate rumors about Marianna...

They will not go out alone Mrs. Roza. I will be there as well.

Besides, he is not only her sponsor... What are you afraid of?

That she will find out...

Ismael knows how to keep his secrets safe...

Let's not beat about the bush, if he doesn't tell her who he is, you should!

Everything in good time...

What do you fear the most Mrs. Roza? Mr. Koulaksiz or yourself?

Why should I fear Ismael? He never forced me to do anything against my will.

I don't blame him for what happened. He insisted. For many years.

Was he the one sending you the letters?

What letters?

Come on Mrs. Roza, I know about the unread letters you keep...

Him. He was looking for me for many years.

And the initials? I, S... in Greek...?

What about it? Many Turks used to write in Greek back then.

They didn't have their own alphabet.

They were using the Arabic writing because of the religion.

Only the educated ones knew how to write, it was difficult.

Why didn't you ever reply?

Why did you change your name?

I hated him for what he did to me.

I wanted to destroy all that I felt for him.

I thought that would heal my pain.

I tried to transform my pain into hate, but...

You loved him...

Go Dimitris, you shouldn't be late...

I want to be worthy of your support. I can't thank you enough.

Not me. You have to thank this man. And God.

There is a Jewish saying: "When man makes plans, God is laughing".

Life is full of surprises. But it helps to hear God laughing...

I'm not sure I'm following you...

Your family has a very painful story.

Back in the wartime, in Smyrna...

But, how do you know the story of my family?

I know it, because... Because I'm a part of it!

You? But... how? I mean...

I'm the father of your father, my child.

He is your grandfather Marianna. Your grandma can confirm it too.

But how?

Why didn't you tell me anything?

Everything in time, my child. When, when everyone is ready...

"Roza, my beloved one. This is the last letter I am writing to you.

I hope you are well and that God is watching you.

My time is coming to an end.

The doctors diagnosed me with cancer and my days are numbered.

It was not meant for me to meet our son, I hope I will meet my granddaughter.

Whatever I earned in my life, it is hers.

I want to see you, even just once.

If you ever loved me, do not deny me this last wish. "

Roza and I thought our love was invincible. We were young.

When Roza got pregnant, her parents found out.

Their daughter, a prized bride of Smyrna, in love with a Turk,

carrying his bastard in the middle of war.

Her family panicked.

They had to cover the shame and do it fast.

They picked a man who wanted their money and would not talk.

I had to save my child.

The front had fallen, the Greek troops had evacuated Smyrna.

Everyone was thirsty for revenge.

It was August 27, 1922.

Roza's wedding day.

So I asked some friends of mine for help.

I offered them money.

My friends had joined the irregular gangs, who look for spoliation. They were drunk.

We entered the church as the wedding started.

When her father saw me, went crazy. He swore at us.

Some of my friends fired his gun. The others took their knives.

I kept begging them to stop. In Allah's name just stop.

But it all went fast.

They killed Roza's father in front of her eyes.

Her wedding dress was stained with her family's blood.

So much pain, so much terror. I felt blind.

I managed to pull her to the side.

She was screaming, my Roza, terrified of me.

I took her by the side door, I put her on my horse.

I gave my knife.

She only looked at me once and her look was full of blood.

She killed my heart. I looked for her years and years.

To ask for forgiveness. All these years.

Up until tonight.

Excuse me.




I never wanted any harm. I wanted you.

Your love drove me crazy...

I couldn't do anything...

I loved you very much Roza... You loved me, too.

And you hurt me very much. I never forgot you...

I could never forget...

Me neither.

Doctor! Doctor!

Let me through...

Hurry up, dawn And resurrect The buzzing crowd

Hurry up, dawn And resurrect The buzzing crowd

So Time may forget me

And forgive

This exhibition is dedicated to Ismael and Roza.

Layla and Majnun of Smyrna...

When history makes an appointment with its characters, its protagonists, the major events that change its flow, it puts aside the small human stories.

Neither the pain nor the tragedies it causes can stop history.

But it is in these small human stories, in these trials of life, where the truth of life lives.

I don't want to sound didactic or bore you.

I only want to confess that when I started to understand the "other", the enemy, the person across from me, the one I'd learned to hate, I started feeling his pain too;

I began to understand that it was me, I was the one to hold the knife of Cain, and rather than turning the knife on my brother, I had to open my eyes and my mind.

I realized that the only enemy I have is my own small-mindedness, which gives birth to fanaticism and bigotry; my fortress heart, not tearing down its walls.

And this is a life lesson, a transcendence that now makes me able to claim the title of being a human...

Roza was in pain.

She fought her pain and her anger.

But the love that never left her heart, conquered her anger.

And allowed her to forgive...

"The story of a city is the story of its love affairs," says Necati Cumali, a Turkish poet, a refugee from Florina to Urla, the birthplace of Seferis.

"If cities stay alive in our memories, they stay alive through their love affairs.

Even when I do not intend to speak words of love, everything I write about Smyrna, I dedicate, to you. "

A voice awakens me

In an enclosed yard

My Nanna...

In yesterday's hideouts Innermost chords you touch