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Eleni is the story of the life of Eleni Gatzoyiannis. In 1948 she was arrested, imprisoned, tortured, and executed by a firing squad at the hands of the communists during the Greek Civil War. Her crime was loving her five children (Olga, Kanta, Glykeria, Fotini, and Nikola) and plotting their escape from their Greek village of Lia to the safety of their father who was living in America.

This movie is based on the book written by Eleni’s son Nicholas Gage. He is tormented by the execution of his mother and he wants to find who was responsible for her death. Gage is a New York Times journalist who is posted to Athens where he tries to uncover the true story behind what happened to his mother.

You can’t help but become engaged in this story. I was particularly affected by the scene when Eleni was shot by the firing sqaud. A woman who was hiding in the bushes described the scene to her son.

“She stood there and as they got ready to fire their guns she held up her hands and shouted out the words For my children.”

It is great that the story of this incredible woman and loving mother has been told.

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