The Water Diviner

Joshua Connor (Russell Crowe) has lost everything. It’s 1919, five years since his three sons left the family’s Australian farmstead to fight at the Battle of Gallipoli. They did not return, and are presumed dead. Unable to live with her grief, Joshua’s wife Eliza (Jacqueline McKenzie) commits suicide, and he makes her a graveside promise to bring back their sons’ remains and bury them on home ground.

He travels to Turkey, where he stays in a hotel run by the recently widowed Ayshe (Olga Kurylenko), whose son Orhan (Dylan Georgiades) takes a shine to him. When the British Consul refuses Joshua a permit to travel to Gallipoli, Ayshe advises him to bribe a fisherman and make an illegal approach by sea.

Arriving at the site of the battlefield, Joshua finds ANZAC forces, led by Lieutenant Colonel Hughes (Jai Courtney), co-operating with defeated Turkish officers for the daunting task of mass burial. Thousands of men died at Gallipoli, Hughes tells Joshua – what makes him think he stands a chance of finding his sons? But Turkish Major Hasan (Yilmaz Erdogan) is sympathetic; and Joshua, it turns out, has a mystical knack for uncovering what’s hidden beneath the ground.

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Adrian Drayton

Adrian Drayton is the Director of Reel Dialogue. A film critic and commentator on culture for 20 years, he believes in the power of cinema and the power of God to start conversations about faith and culture. He is also a massive Star Wars nerd.