During the First Balkan War in 1912 the Serbian reconnoitre troop was bombed. The middle aged sergeant Đorđe saves his neighbour, seriously injured young man Gavrilo, the Cavalry second lieutenant. When the war ended, a girl named Katarina welcomes Gavrilo at the railway station, but he refuses her love, being desperate due to arm loss. He is followed by Đorđe to whom puzzled and disappointed Katarina hands over the wicker rose wreath, intended for Gavrilo. Time passes and considerably young and beautiful Katarina, the girl who studied painting in Belgrade, is now Đorđe`s wife, living in the village where Gavrilo also lives with his pregnant wife. Đorđe is in command of the local Gendarmerie and Gavrilo is a smuggler – along with his two brothers. Katarina has always stayed Gavrilo`s love and to Đorđe she is an unrealized love, unattainable happiness, undeserved beauty. Katarina and Gavrilo become lovers and Đorđe finds out about that, but he stays away from any conflict and tolerates everything, so that his wife doesn`t leave him. World War I breaks out, peasants are mobilised, and Đorđe is among them. As in the previous war, disabled persons stay in the village and husbands – soldiers are angry and jealous of them because of their wives left there in the village. Although an invalid, Gavrilo registers in the cavalry troop, but he is rejected. Upon soldiers` petition, in which they requested the protection for their wives and families from the invalids and "thrash" left in the villages, the supreme command recruited the invalids, too. They are led by Gavrilo, who being the hero from the previous war is not to be mobilized, but proceeds to the front voluntarily. Bloody fights are fought on the front, death is raging, and the apocalypse is approaching. A sad group of crippled men arrive as the enforcement for the unit in command of Đorđe. Đorđe and Gavrilo do not solve their mutual issues, although they have opportunities to do that. Both of them are aware that they cannot run away from the adverse fate. They die together during the battle of Cer. At night Katarina finds, carrying the lantern in her hand, Đorđe and Gavrilo lying next to each other. At the same time Gavrilo`s wife comes and the two of them transport the bodies of their husbands together in a wooden cart. In the tranches they find the only survivor, a boy from the village named Orphan, who ended up there by following Gavrilo. Their guide, the Orphan, carries in his hands a riddled with bullets icon of the village patron Saint George who kills the dragon – evil, plague, suffering, futile victims, disaster, and war.
|Creator||Srdjan Dragojevic (Search Europeana for this person)|
|Subject Terms||World War I, feature films, feature film|
|Provider||EFG - The European Film Gateway|