- 1 hr 54 min
Eleni is the 1985 drama about a New York Times journalist's search for the truth behind his mother's murder during the Greek uprising. The film was directed by Peter Yates and stars John Malkovich and Kate Nelligan in the title roles. Nicholas Gage (John Malkovich) is on assignment near the Albanian region of his homeland. Through a series of flashbacks, Nicholas recalls his childhood during the Greek Civil War and the struggles he, his sisters, and his mother were forced to endure. After the Greek Communist resistance fighters occupied his village, several men, women and children were subjected to torture and execution. His mother Eleni was a proud woman who would stop at nothing to protect her children, even if it meant death. While on assignment, Nicholas befriends a former town political figure Katis (Oliver Cotton), who recounts his own days during the resistance. As Nicholas digs deeper into the mystery, he finds the circumstances surrounding his mother's death far more sinister than he ever imagined. The film flashes back to the most tense times during resistance when Eleni contemplates sending her children to the U.S. to live with their father. Katis, who is a much younger man at the time heads the local, brutal regime, and regularly signs off on the beatings and executions of villagers. Eleni remains strong as many of her friends are murdered. As the Civil War nears its end, Eleni is able to have her children smuggled out of the country to the U.S. As punishment for her "treason," she and several others are shot to death. Nicholas is able to piece enough together to realize that Katis is the one who signed his mother's death warrant. At the end of his interview with Katis, Nicholas reveals that he is Eleni's child. As his rage towards Katis builds, Nicholas must decide whether he should seek revenge or forgive his mother's murderer.