The Greek peninsula in the early 1800’s: the fearsome Ottoman Empire maintains an iron rule over the indigenous population. Elite troops called Janissaries enforce the Sultan’s will with ruthless resolve, while an underground network of Greek freedom fighters struggles to keep the spark of hope alive.
Amidst this volatile backdrop, an unusual bond develops between ANNA CHRISTINA (Tania Raymonde), a dutiful 20-year-old Greek villager who chafes under the constraints of her patriarchal culture, and COLONEL TARIQ (Jan Uddin), a rising star in the Turkish army who harbors secret doubts about the Empire’s brutal methods. Unbeknownst to family and comrades, Tariq once spared 8-year-old Anna Christina’s life during a deadly Turkish raid on a Greek village… an encounter that planted the seeds of change in their mutual worldview. Now, as an adult, Anna Christina struggles to reconcile her feelings of attraction and cultural distrust. Similarly conflicted yet enlightened by the teachings of his long-time Greek tutor and confidante THANASI (Christopher Plummer), Tariq must hide his growing feelings for Anna Christina from his brother-in-arms SUNAL (Raza Jaffrey), a Janissary captain whose loyalty to superior officer Tariq is matched only by his hatred of Greeks.
Against Thanasi’s advice, Tariq puts himself at risk by covertly protecting Anna Christina and her people from Sunal and his troops. Before long, the dangerous relationship between Anna Christina and Tariq brings tragedy to her village, further increasing the tension between the two cultures. Enraged by injustice and estranged from Tariq, Christina devotes herself to the cause of Greek freedom.
With the advice and support of her fortune-telling grandmother YIA YIA (Patti LuPone), Christina and her male cousins make their way to a secret mountain hideout in an effort to join the Greek Resistance. Christina is initially rejected for being “just a girl” (and therefore a distraction to the all-male camp) but she soon earns the group’s respect by lethally defending her honor with a sickle.
The three cousins’ satisfaction in joining the rebels is short-lived: the “freedom fighters” have few real weapons, little organization and scant leadership; anxious to avoid detection by the Turks, they spend their days constantly on the move while awaiting orders from a legendary Greek general whose orders they concede may never arrive. When the ragtag group stumbles upon a Turkish supply caravan, a skirmish ensues, with the valiant Greeks badly outnumbered. Shell-shocked by a cannon blast, Christina nevertheless follows her instincts (and a vision of her father) to save the day. The rebels gain a large cache of Turkish weaponry, and the legend of Christina is born.
As word of the mysterious female freedom fighter spreads throughout the mountain camps, other resistance groups are inspired and emboldened to attack the Turkish munitions convoys in an escalating series of guerrilla raids.
Frustrated by the loss of munitions and enraged by rumors of a Greek “sorceress” spooking his troops, the Turkish governor puts a price on Christina’s head. Desperate to warn her, Tariq implores Thanasi to arrange a secret meeting with her. Despite Tariq’s insistence that a chance may still exist for the two sides to forge a peaceful future, Christina knows idealism alone will not free her people.
Her misgivings are confirmed when Janissaries capture one of Christina’s cousins; worse still, the Turks are planning a massive attack on her village of Valtetsi. For the Turks, it’s an opportunity to crush the Greek resistance and destroy the legend of Christina once and for all; for the Greeks, it’s a chance to draw their overly-confident adversaries into a decisive trap. Even as Christina and the rebels prepare for battle, Tariq must continue to prove his loyalty to the Empire while finding a way to help Christina – all without drawing the unwanted attention of an increasingly suspicious Sunal.
Thus the stage is set for a pivotal battle between the forces of tyranny and freedom. Caught in the middle, Christina and Tariq will discover the price of victory and the meaning of sacrifice as they face the most difficult choices of their lives, the consequences of which stand to change the course of history.
All Star Cast Historical Epic Released March 2019 via Cineworld UK/Europe and AMC USA.
Starring Tania Raymonde, Jan Uddin, Raza Jaffrey, with Patti LuPone and Christopher Plummer. Directed by Van Ling. Written by Van Ling, Marianne Metropoulos & Kevin Bernhardt Produced by Casey Cannon and Marianne Metropoulos.
An Aegean Entertainment Production