Lion Of The Desert (1981) Movie Script

In this power 20th century,
almost every nation
in the world has at some
time been in conflict,
the oppressors and the oppressed,
the victors and the vanquished
The people of war are tragic
indictment of our civilization.
A time, when much of
the world was looking
for ways to increase their
influence, power and riches.
Full of dreams for the restoration of
the glory that was Rome,...
in 1911 Italy joins
the hunt for territory.
Libya on the other side of the
Mediterranean sea is the target.
Landings were made at Tripoli,...
Benghazi, Zvora, Cert,
Derna and Tobruk.
The local population
fighting on many fronts,
made fierce and resolute
resistance to the
invaders, thus bringing
the war to a stale-mate.
1922 saw a dramatic change in Italy.
The beginning of Mussolini's
era of dictatorship.
The conflict in Libya escalated
as more and more fascists might
was thrown against the scithening
resistance of the local population.
Mussolini (The Duce):
"We will overrun the earth..."
"and then we will take the flag
of fascism to the throne."
Ready, charge!
More... More... I don't understand.
If we defeated the Bedouins,
why are we still hanging them?
Why do I have to ford troops
into a victory I have already won?
Oh, I wish my generals were right,
two different dispatches,
one telling themselves of their
glorious victories
and one telling me of their defeats.
Can't go on..
I will not let it go on!
This green, this subtle green..
That's your prize, the
rest is brown paper.
Just need someone bold
enough to roll it up.
Come with me.
20 years.
20 worthless years we
wasted on this war.
I sent 5 governors to
Libya in 5 years.
No...the military logic of fascism
will not be compromised!
It's wrong with Alway, Giada,
Bayonets, Bannu, Don.
What we are fighting in
reality is just tribesmen, ghosts.
I want their leader
brought here.
I want them brought to me and
I want the revolution crushed.
- What's his name?
- Omar Mukhtar
- Omar?
- Omar Mukhtar.
Omar Mukhtar.
You know general,
those colonists that we sent
over especially from the south,
they cost us leader
for leader almost
as if we put them up
at the grand hotel.
Now something must be wrong.
I will not have a
handful of Bedouins...
stop the progress of
forty million Italians.
I'll give you Libya, General.
At least you have a name
that will frighten them.
May I say, my Duce, that
when I crush rebellions,
I do so with a clear
conscience ensouled.
What did Mukhtar do before
the rebellion?
He was a teacher.
- A teacher?
- Yes.
I was a teacher.
Be careful you don't end up
as the five who went before you,
taught by him.
Well, I'm a man who likes action...
Go to Libya!
Bring me back Mukhtar!
Bribe him or break his neck!
In the name of God,
the compassionate, the merciful
It is the god of mercy who
has man known the Koran,
he created man and
told him speech.
He set to the sun and the
moon in their courses.
He raised the sky up and set
the balance of whole things.
Stop right there!
Why do you think we begin
every chapter of the Koran with
"God, the merciful", uh?
Because, one of the names
of God is mercy.
That's right, yes.
And how..
does God show his mercy?
He taught..
people how to speak.
How to speak..
that's right.. yes.
And then there was something
else in what we read,
Can anybody...
can you tell me what that was?
- It was...
- Here, let me give you a hint...
- It was the what?
- It was the balance.
That's right...
the balance.
And why did God
set that balance?
Boys! Why did God
set the balance?
Because.. without the balance
everything would fall.
Uhm... let me see
what you read.
Everything did
fall apart though.
What are you
waiting for?
Go on.
Take it to your father.
Peace be upon you.
Where's Siddik Omar?
Yes, Bu-Matani,
what is the news?
- A new governor...
- ...again, huh?
They always come in like lions
and go home like worn-out goats.
- Well, who is it this time?
- Graziani.
- The butcher of the Zion.
- Graziani...
It was only a question of time
before they let him loose on us.
It will mean a new offensive.
My father used to say:
"Blows that don't break your back,...
...strengthen it."
We will show Graziani some spine.
They tell me that Graziani
loves blood?
I don't like to believe those stories.
And yet I do.
- When is he expected?
- They decorate in Benghazi for him.
Signore, signori,
his excellency
General Graziani,
governor of Sirinika,
his royal highness,
Prince Amadeo, Duke of Aosta.
Gentlemen, thank you.
But the ladies are present,
we should be at our ease.
Let the dancing continue.
Colonel Sarsani.
Signore Tomelli.
Diodiece! Here... in Benghazi?
The sun turns the rest of us
black in the desert,
but it seems to be
be turning you white.
I came to talk to him.
A drink first.
If Europe knew what we do here...
If even Italy knew...
But here in Libya we
photograph everything.
Whenever without a snap,
you know.
You mustn't tell me too much.
Even to tell you we are not abiding
by the Geneva convention?
Colonel, don't... please.
Colonel Diodiece, sir.
Ah, yes.
I read reports on you.
They say that you could make friends
with a Bedouin with a hand-shake.
I'm not so sure that I
like that it implies that
the rest of them are strangled
them in order to make peace.
Sir, there are 5,000 displaced
Bedouins outside my force.
I have no food for them.
I've difficulty in controlling
them and I need...
What you need Colonel,
what you need...
is a little bit
more of that.
Who is that man?
Sharif El Gariani.
He's quite useful to us,
old friend of Omar Mukhtar.
- Useful you say?
- Yes.
Bring him here.
I think you will find
that you can rely on him.
General Graziani, may I present
his excellency, Sharif El Gariani.
I understand that you know
Omar Mukhtar.
I did.
What would it take to get
him to surrender?
I don't know. Even as a boy,
he was terribly stubborn.
But if I could be of help in any way,
I should be very willing to agree.
You'll find that we can
be terribly generous.
Lt. Genieri, urgent message sir.
Can't it wait? You see
you're disturbing my guests.
Excuse me gentlemen.
They say, the flagman has lost tre
semana (ital./span. hogwash 'three weeks')...
while sleeping on his dispatches.
What is this?
Another wasted maneuver?
How many dead Italians?
20 dead, 50 wounded sir.
And they let him go again.
Yes, sir.
- But, this time, he was seen.
- He was seen?
How do they know he was seen?
Nobody knows him.
How do they knew he was seen?
It was only for a moment sir.
But they are sure. It was Mukhtar.
I suppose I should decorate them
just for the bravery of seeing Mukhtar.
There could be.. There could be..
Could be anywhere..
Tomelli, I want you to use
a fast, hard hitting force
and you forget what
Omar Mukhtar looks like.
We're all obsessed by never
having seen him.
Go for his blood.
Go for his circulation.
Go for the revolution that
is inside every Bedouin.
Mukhtar's been fighting turns,
three months we run with him.
The next three months their
peace XXXXXX???.
Tomelli, no peace.
Take your brother!
The women must hide!
Round up the men.
Those three at the end there.
these two at the back.
Let the young curb XXXXX????
(WTF is he saying???)
Some of you have conscript,
instead of going three months
...with Mukhtar.
You go one year to useful labor...
while you'll be out of town.
Burn their half
they give to Mukhtar.
Burn half of everything.
It's a bullet wound sir.
You were shot running
with Mukhtar, weren't you?
What have you to say?
What have you to say?
You do?
Well, you brought it on yourself.
Execute him.
Not, not over there. Here!
Let them see it.
In the name of God,
give him time to pray!
You're warned, be careful.
Murderer! Killers!
I must do something.
Poor Aisha.
She forgot her veil.
Oh God!
I must do something!
they burned his tree.
I saw what happened,
my brother and Aisha.
And look, my father!
I'm going to Siddik Omar.
It's not your turn yet.
I became old enough today,
Please God,
I need you.
They must pass through here.
That's our ground.
Out there, that is it.
But you can't hide
a lizard out there.
Siddik Omar..
It's all clear sir.
Check the other side.
Sir, at last we got them
where we want them.
Let's crack it off them,
move it.
Let's go!
They're here.
They're running!
Get your foot down!
We've run in a trap!
We must warn Tomelli!
Do you hear that?
Could be Lt. Sandrini, sir.
What the hell is he doing?
Maybe warning shots sir.
No! Stop!
Do you see anything?
No, nothing sir.
They're getting away.
We have them in our hands!
Full pursuit!
- Look at those machines.
- Siddik Omar.
We do not kill prisoners!
They do it to us.
They are not our teachers.
He's a boy.
Tell your general it
does not belong here.
My husband?
I... brought his book home.
Never turned his back on it...
Come here.
- What is your name?
- Ali.
Oh, yes, Ali.
This is yours.
This is your book now.
You tell your mother
to keep it for you.
Do not let him see you
crying too much.
One day they will carry on the fight.
He truly should remember
him as strong and confident.
Never broken.
Go inside.
Let us go and see
the camp, Ali.
There he is.
This is my friend, Ali.
This is Bu-Matari.
He has a little boy just like you.
He is in Kufr, that's far away,
in the desert.
He misses him. Now,
we have some work to do.
Be careful...
Oh... Is this supposed
to be me? How do I look?
You've to give it back to me.
Otherwise, I cannot read.
You go... you go see.
Let the people work.
Wiped out..
one Lieutenant...
and one scout car...
That is all its left
of a fighting force.
I did not come to Libya to
be stung by Bandits.
Senore Tomelli is one
of our finest officers.
This young boy saved our honor,
he brought back the flag.
But sir... they gave us the flag.
Yes yes yes, you will be decorated
with the medal of honor.
I never in my
career lost a flag.
Gentlemen, I will repeat
one simple fact to you,
Were not merely
fighting Mukhtar and...
200 of his men here or
50 of his men there.
We are fighting a population.
We have Rome to answer to.
I am therefore taking
the first of three final steps.
Strides to eliminate rebellion
in this colony.
It's really quite simple and
should have been thought of before.
I propose to concentrate the Bedouins.
Concentrate them?
Yes, put them behind wire, camps
and keep them there until
we find them prudent or
safe to release them.
No, I don't want any
pity for them.
They have brought
it on themselves.
We will fill their wells,
we will burn their fields,
we will destroy their trees,
we will turn their land brown.
Now, if they cannot live
with it, they'll leave it.
And.. if we meet a resistance?
You answer it promptly with the
old Roman punishment for rebellion:
It is ridiculous to think that
we can fight this war kindly.
We cannot.
We have to fight with authority.
To place half a million
people behind barb wire...
it is a promotable
and majestic undertaking.
And we will do it.
Turn around.
As mutinier and rebels,
you will be decimated.
One... Two... Three... Four...
Five... Six... Seven...
Eight... Nine... Ten...
They've taken everybody.
Who can fight such a war?
Not against armies, but
against innocent people.
Old people will be dying in
those camps and come out.
People will be dying without
fault, without choice.
Or is it our fault
and our choice?
Look what they did.
"Raised the sky up and set
the balance of all things."
It's Siddik Omar!
They will be massacred.
You have a chance to get away,
take it!
Go with Ismail!
Don't think of me!
Hurry! Go back!
Up behind me, Ismail.
Up behind me!
Go back!
Go back for that boy!
The horse won't take two.
Ismail knows that.
Hurry up, Siddik Omar!
So, you're the brave young man.
The brave young man
who saved Mukhtar from me.
Why did you do it?
You are young.
You had your whole life
ahead of you.
Tell me, don't you want to live?
Come on.
I want him to live more.
You'd make a fine soldier.
Would you think of joining us?
You are more ruthless
than I am, Prince.
You would corrupt him.
Get him out of here.
Give him what he asked
for, fruit, honey, whatever.
And don't harm him.
Hang him, in the morning.
Does it ever worry you,
...that in our most casual acts
we make history here,...
...even if it's just a small paragraph
in a newspaper in Rome?
You touched my strength, Prince.
You see I didn't care.
A day in the mind of Rome
is more important to me than...
than a generation
in the memory of Libya.
And what happens, I wonder,
if we are forgotten in Rome and...
we are remembered in Libya?
Don't you worry your
royal head about that.
You'll see, we will
write the history.
Libya is our crown of thorns.
Libya is a career.
Look at it.
Look at it.
It's always the same. We can never
persue them in the desert.
I must conquer the desert
to march on Kufra.
From here to here.
Simple.. isn't it?
No, it's not.
But, its only empty desert.
There's nothing there,
just wind and sand,
not even much opposition.
What can you get from it?
- Glory for Rome.
An extension of the empire
confining a revolution to that mountain.
My name, a new page
in military history.
You see, it's quite full
that desert of yours, isn't it?
I will surprise you.
Come in.
Diodiece, now it's your time.
Please, sit down.
Thank you.
The man who can make
peace with a hand-shake.
Do it now...
Hands across the desert.
I wish you to instigate to
peace talks with his excelleny.
Omar Mukhtar.
- That will not be so easy now.
- No, but you will do it, won't you?
And what are the pre-conditions
for talks with Omar Mukhtar?
No pre-conditions. The whole of
Libya is open to discussion.
Look at it.
Look at it.
We go to the conference
table with an open mind, do we not?
He fought us for 20 years.
We are an enemy he knows.
He has heard all our promises.
20 years is too long.
I mean can you imagine
escaping hanging for 20 years
knowing you can't win this,
just... hoping to keep on?
It's the war that's hope
for the man.
He'll be mad to get on his
high horse about past promises.
When may I in your excellency's
name sit down with him?
You're too eager.
When you talk to Omar Muktar,
it must be with the speed of dictation.
Regress whether he wants talk or not.
You test him, you try him.
Yes, I will try.
Thank you very much.
Thank you for coming at such
short notice. It was very kind of you.
Thank you.
Well, let's settle this.
Diodiece is not the right man.
He will offer.
But Mukhtar can't take.
And Muktar will ask
what he can't give.
Which makes me think,
you want things go long.
That's unfair, of course, I want peace,
of course. I want to win that peace.
But sometimes, Prince,
when you are strong,...
peace takes on the nature
of 'conquest is enough'.
He won't give me peace.
But he'll give me his time.
What I need is time.
So that's what he looks like.
After all these years,
we are the first to see him.
The Old Lion!
Peace be upon you.
- Colonel Diodiece?
- Yes sir.
This side.
Colonel Barillo, military
governor of Merch.
This is Commissioner Lobito,
who has come directly from Rome...
to advice and assist us.
Look, you invited us here to talk.
We are here.
Your excellency,
it is my one wish
to see the Italian and the Arab
together in the same interest.
I foresee a future
of common cause,
a give and take of
character and skill.
Our civilization and your
culture in marriage of virtues.
I want observers from the
governments of Tunisia and Egypt
to witness any
agreements between us.
As for as I am concerned...
Out of the question!
He is seeking international
recognition, as if the Bedouins
were an independent nation,
which they are not.
They are subjects within our province.
Our arguments are not within
nations, but between Italians.
We cannot permit outside
interference in our internal affairs.
Then why must we
represent this?
We are not Italians so do
not tell us that we are.
We were born where we were
born, only by the will of God
and only by our own mothers.
We are not you.
We will come to foreign
observers later, uh?
As yet, there is nothing written,
nothing witnessed.
But we have written.
We must have
our muslims schools...
Oh yes. No question. Freedom
of education, no question.
The schools will be re-opened.
We must have some form
of national protection.
We must have a
National Parliament..
The Parliament is
a matter for Rome.
This tent is not the place.
Why not?
You pitched it, no conditions you
said, no limits, no exclusions,
everything open on this
table in this tent.
Let us say that, at present we will
note your demand for the parliament.
Mark it well.
The confiscated lands
must be given back.
Now, I wouldn't say confiscated lands.
I would say lands reserved for
settlement and cultivation.
Lands to be developed.
To be developed by Italians?
I tell you there is no
escape 20 years, 40 years,
the land will be back
to its people.
Why do you think we fight you?
But, the new settlements
will provide employment.
As long as you take our lands,
for as long we're able...
we must fight you.
- Must?
- Yes, we must.
But, I have it on religious
authority that your
Koran does not permit you to
fight a war you cannot win.
Now, you are going to
interpret our religion for us...
The Book leaves no doubt.
It is our duty to God
to defend ourselves
against those who have
driven us out of our homes!
I think this might be a
good time to adjourn.
We are in no hurry.
Why are you delaying?
Your excellency, we are obliged to
refer your demands to Rome.
At our next meeting...
we will give you their answer
and make our proposals.
At least.. we know that
we all want...
the blood-shed
between us to end.
An Italian innovation.
The first to use
aircraft in combat,...
...the first to put tanks
in the desert.
History will mark that, gentlemen.
What we needed was time.
Now, we have achieved that time...
...with talk peace, with eloquence.
1. Omar Mukhtar's men will come under
the command of Italian Officers.
Go on...
2. The Italian Government will
pay monthly salaries to these men.
Go on.
Go on!
The Government reserves
the right to punish any persons
who committed a crime
before this agreement.
Omar Mukhtar will have no
right to protect such persons.
- These terms mean dishonour.
- Absolute surrender.
Not even subjects for discussion.
The Italian Government
undertakes to pay
Omar Mukhtar a pension of
50,000 lira a month.
and to provide him with
a comfortable house.
Do I deserve so much?
Have I been so successful
for someone to offer me...
50,000 lira a month?
You know, by offering me
bribes you are insulting me.
Your Excellency,
I made that proposal.
Believe me..
It was not an attempt
to bribe you.
Only to make your
retirement comfortable.
How can I be comfortable when
my people are in concentration camps?
And where is this General
who bombs and burns and hangs?
Why has be never come here?
One term is agreed
between us...
General Graziani will be
happy to see you.
I do not want to see him.
I want to see the last of him.
And why is he landing troops?
Where is he going, to the last oasis?
6,000 drums of water!
He is going to Kufra.
He never wanted peace.
All you wanted was time.
We will be with Graziani.
If you will not come to terms,
I promise you immediate
and terrible war!
Oh, I know the power
of your Government,
the power you
threaten us with...
We've stood against you for 20 years
... and with the help of God,
we will stay with you till your end.
I knew this conclusion...
Poor fools! They think they
can ride against a modern army...
It is Kufra, no question.
Thousands of soldiers and
machines, all going to Kufra.
Graziani is doing what
no one has ever done.
He's putting tanks in a desert.
Time... is on our side.
Graziani is marching south to Kufra.
We attack north. We throw him back.
But we must fight him for Kufra.
Sometimes, it is braver not to die.
What is lost count as lost.
We know your family is there.
But, to defend Kufra is to die there.
I must go.
Yes, yes you must.
- Are you ready to patter them?
- Yes sir.
Good... then, give them hell.
Lt. Sandrini, open fire!
Go now.
Fire everything on them!
Bomb it to the front!
- What are you doing?
- Colonel Sarsana's orders.
No retreat, we fight and die here.
Gentlemen, this is Kufra.
The seizure of Kufra
has hurt us deeply.
It has closed the south.
The only road for military supplies
is across the Egyptian Border.
We are in desperate
need of supplies, food...
Three Italian cars coming
up the Merch Road!
- How many?
- Three. They are flying white flags.
Let them in.
We will finish later.
Sharif El Gariani.
To come through, we had to
use the Italian cars.
- You found them comfortable?
- We want to talk to you alone.
What we have to say
cannot be said in public.
Then, it is not to be said to me.
Omar, why do you not surrender?
Obtain the best terms
you can from the Italians.
Mohamed XXXX??? can arrange a safe
conduct for you out of the country.
Safe conduct? Where to?
Ah... to Egypt...
to hide with his brother.
You are the only sonusi
left in this country.
I look at you.
Just look at him.
But my people have fought...
To defend your own privileges!
Where are you now?
- Omar Mukhtar...
The Italians assured us...
You better get back to them.
My friend, they are the
government of this country.
No, they take this land by day,...
...but, by God,
we take it back by night.
Omar Mukhtar,
you are alone,...
...cut off from the rest of this country,
isolated from the rest of the world.
In the league of nations,
you will not speak.
And if they should,
they will not listen.
No one would care.
This battle is not being fought
in the league of nations.
This battle is being
fought here on this land.
Omar, you cannot win this war.
Your blood against their metal?
Every man has two days, his
own day... and his children's day.
Your children are starving,
dying in the concentration camps.
Dying... because you
persist in fighting.
Yes, they are hostages of war.
But not one of them betrays me.
Not one has asked me
to surrender...
because they know and I know
that if I surrender I betray them.
Omar, we grew up together.
Don't you remember 70 years
ago, we were boys together.
Yes, yes I remember.
Look how far apart we have grown.
This may be the last chance you have
for seeking an honourable peace.
They steal our land, they destroy
our homes, they kill innocent people...
...and you call it peace?
I will not be corrupted by
that man's peace.
- Perhaps we should go.
- Yes, I think you should!
Yes, you should.
- Mabrouka?
- Yes.
You're alive...
Yes, with Siddik Omar.
I prayed for you.
When he sees Malik showed
him the back, he gave it to me.
My boy.
My baby.
Was he a brave boy?
Will you be back?
But not for some time.
Go now.
Up you get!
Come on, out!
- The child is sick sir.
- I don't want him. I don't care.
You are accused of giving aid,
comfort and sustainance to
the rebels in the mountain.
Do you admit these capital crimes?
So, you are admitting your guilt?
You will all hang by your necks...
until you are dead.
As the holder of a Silver medal
of Honour, Lieutenant,
you will have the privilege of
giving the order for the execution.
What did you say?
You will do your duty Leutinant.
I did not join the army
to hang women, sir.
Very well...
Lt. Sandrini, you will consider
yourself under arrest.
Thank you God for the lives
you have given.
What am I to do?
You refused your duty.
Insubordination is a
very serious offence.
When your officers start to
cry conscience...
you had that word
lent to you.
I'm prepared to answer to
the Court Marshall sir.
Indeed... and I am not prepared to
loose one of my colony's new heroes.
The hero I created.
I will not give you
the pleasure nor the
publicity of a Court
Marshall, Sandrini.
As an officer, you were taught to
obey orders not to question orders.
- Yes sir, but..
- Do not dispute with me!
The state has needs that outweigh
the conscious of the individual.
Demands that go beyond
individual intelligence, don't you agree?
Yes sir.
You will report to Sarsani for
duty in the mountains.
I will give you the honour
of dying XXXXXX???.
The old man has these mountains.
And he uses them.
XXXXX??? prove that.
Beyond this mountain range...
there's a plateau
upon which instinct...
Instinct tells us the tanks
can't operate.
Now, that is not true!
- Can we do it?
- Yes, but it will...
It will be decisive.
We control the approaches
here, here and here.
These are tank roads now.
Use them, will you?
- Uhm...
- Intelligence!
If I can think about that
you execute it,...
...especially if I could put you
on that plateau,...
...that'd be XXXX??? shock XXXXX???
- Yes.
Our directive Mukthar.
Here, using artillery,...
...gas, aircraft, no armor.
Once he's committed himself
30 kilometeres to the west...
by this road...
then we will push
by armors through.
That'll leave 'em with
their mouths zipped.
Let's flush them out!
- Gas will be our prison.
- We must get to high ground.
Get back to high ground!
Move everybody!
They've given us five days
and nights of it.
He's making a big push
for the mountains.
No use in artillery.
His tracks and armored cars
are useless in the mountains.
We can only operate
on level ground.
But he forced us here.
What does that suggest?
He wants control of
the mountain roads.
And what is there?
The bridge...
at Wadi Al-Kouf.
That is what he wants.
Gentlemen, this time he
won't get away.
First, we take the bridge,
get our armour behind him,
artillery in front of him.
then we pound him
into submission.
About the bridge sir, I'm surprised
that Mukhtar hasn't tried to cut it.
That's because he's an artful
fighter, not an educated one.
He didn't go to military
academy like you gentlemen.
Now is the time, we dangle the bait.
Check the bridge.
Sargeant, check the bridge.
All clear.
Right, check the next bridge,
I will hold this one here.
He is careful.
He is showing his naive.
That is bait.
We should have
blown up the bridge.
The scout cars, we must stop them.
Give the signal.
You see?
Look the mice,
they could never resist the
cheese, could they?
Prepare the artillery to open fire.
Blast them!
Now, send in the army.
Now, he has made his move.
Let's go.
Look, over there.
He is good.
He is good.
This old man is good.
My dear General
My dear dear General.
I hope you don't mind that
I share some of your credit
but after all, I chose you.
- I hope, Duce, that I can...
- You can have anything you want.
You're the most fortunate
man in this room.
I have physically moved the war
from the desert into the mountains.
The last remnant of the enemy
has now run into holes,
we find ourselves into a
position whereby we are
are forced to pull them out
by their necks one by one.
Duce, I didn't know..
I know.
You are having difficulties.
You're having problems with
them being in the mountains.
I don't seem to have an enemy to
fight, yet they attack and assasinate.
I mean, they have no form,...
...if they have form,
I could beat them with form.
But they have no continuity of
movement, no fixed point of position.
I haven't however have
to come to my Duce to remind him.
I have a radical solution.
A New Hadrian's Wall.
that Hadrian used his walls to
shut the Barbarians Out.
Which is mine is to shut them in.
I propose, my Duce,
the fence in Libya.
To run a war in an impossible
wire across the desert,
from the Mediterranean to the
shores of this sea of moving sand.
It will cut the enemies
off from his supplies out
of Egypt and cut him off
from his retreat into Egypt.
Duce, my Duce!
Hundreds of miles of barbed wire?
But is it possible
to know the cost?
Why do you question
Hadrian's Wall?
Remember, it was
Hadrian's Wall that kept
the Romans in Britain
100 years longer.
Thousands of tons of equipment...
4000 men...
Six months in the whole job
completing the last part.
You're awful.
You don't even look it
your own vision...
of XXXXX himself
XXXXX primal, do you?
There's going up to
a big casa (house).
They were trying to get through
with wire cutters...
and 5000 rounds of ammunition.
That is that.
Now all he is the trickle
from the concentration camps.
And we'll dry that up, gentlemen.
We will dry it up.
(Duce on radio:) In ten years time
all Europe will be fascist.
XXXXX??? in the air, in Roman tanks,
in Roman ships, in Roman planes.
The new men of fascism are
writing the pages of tomorrow.
We have conquered a second
Roman empire with our blood.
We will fertilise it with our labor.
We will hold it forever...
with out arms, our XXXXXX
- How many bullets have you?
- Twelve.
At this rate, we will be soon down
to fighting them with stones.
How long can we last?
Till doomsday.
Nothing has got through for a month.
We are fighting barbed wire.
The wire will win when
it tears our spirit.
Only then.
Yes, yes, the wire
is hurting us.
It is... It is around our neck.
But it is God, not Graziani and not him
who decides what becomes of us.
What is the will of wire
compared to the will of God?
They have 8 million bayonets,
we have one that matters.
And we are not alone.
We have many, many friends.
And others are
fighting beside us.
Duce on Radio:
"We will overrun the earth."
"And then we will
take the flag of fascism..."
"to the throne."
Thank you.
It's not the cold.
It's the dust.
You've been fighting a war...
for 22 years.
It's the same dust.
Why don't you sleep?
I've been better sitting up.
We must sleep
Go! Go!
We will hold them off!
It's suicide sir.
They tied their legs
so they cannot run.
Don't beg boy.
Don't beg!
You're taken in arms.
Shoot him!
There are more in there.
Follow them up.
Go on.
You took him. Shoot him.
You idiot.
I said... shoot him.
Where is he?
I confirm the identification.
He's Omar Mukhtar.
I'm distressed
to see him like this.
How can you say that?
He has lead the rebellion
against us for 20 years.
As a gallant enemy,
Omar Mukhtar should be
treated by us with dignity
and with respect.
With respect?
He should have been
whipped all the way here.
You forget yourself sir.
Is there anything I can do for you?
If you will allow me a little water,
I could make myself ready for prayers.
Of course.
And... the chains while I pray?
Out of the question!
He only wants to pray.
I am too old to climb walls or...
to fight bare-handed.
Remove his chains for an hour.
On your own personal
responsibility, sir?
Bring the water.
Thank You.
No need.
Omar Mukhtar...
I have come a long way to meet you.
Now, you must wait.
I want to ask you one question.
Why did you keep going this alone?
I am sure you didn't hope to drive us
out of Lybia with so little, did you?
We fought you.
That was enough.
But you care nothing about
the ruination of your country?
You are the ruination of my country.
What would you do if
someone occupied your land?
Did you ever think how
your attacks seemed to us...
Ambush, murder by night,
deception by day,...
...threats against the farmers.
- Farming our land.
Libya is not your country,
you have no right in it.
Not to the pasture of one cow,
not one minute the right.
Italy has as much right in here
as anybody else.
England has a right to Egypt
France to Tunisia, Algeria.
Spain to Morocco.
But none of them
have our pedigree.
We have hundreds
of years of right here.
So, you will take
everything from me...
and you want me to
justify your tax?
No nation has the right
to occupy another.
We are back here, that's all.
No one can deny us.
Read the date on this coin.
It's a coin of the Cesars,
dated, minted in Libya.
You will also find Greek,
Turkish, Venecian coins.
All over Libya
you will find them,...
...buried in our sand.
Yes, I had forgotten.
You are short sighted,
aren't you?
Your spectacles, I believe.
The day they brought them
to me, I knew... wouldn't be
too far behind.
My spectacles... we're
both your prisoners.
I will not be trivial.
Take them back. Here...
Yes, it does have
an interesting past
but don't try to buy
too much with it today.
The money, like your
glory, is not permanent.
But I respect your past
and you must respect ours.
We too have a history and science,
mathematics and medicine.
In your dark ages,
we lead the world to learn.
How many days will it take you
to arrange the surrender of your men?
We will never surrender.
We win or we die.
And don't think it stops there.
We will have the next
generation to fight,
and after the
next, the next.
As for me, I will live longer
than my hang-man.
What makes you think I'm
going to hang you?
I mean it might suit my papers
better to pension you.
If I hang you, I run the risk of
beating an open grave.
But, on the other hand,
you are an prime example.
You can only do to me
what God decides for me.
Those chains are uncomfortable?
There are uncomfortable effects.
Sit down.
Thank You.
Do you know...
I had always hoped that you and
I... implacable enemies, might...
...sit down on the day of your
capture and discuss like Cesar...
Omar Mukthar cannot
give you the conquest of Cesar.
I wanted you for so long.
I mean knowing each
other as we do... an idea...
Can't we work
together for peace?
And today is the day
I work for you?
Why don't you ask me
for your life?
I might give it to you,
like that.
Do I give you...
my coloboration?
You are too late for bargains,
You are far too late!
I have not asked you for my life.
Do not tell the world...
in the privacy of this room
I asked you for my life.
No, I will not do that.
I will not lie about you.
You are a man of courage.
Let us hope that you can keep
that courage tomorrow.
Rope of your justice is always
hanging in front of me, General.
Have him a photograph.
I wish my enemies to be recorded.
Instruct the President
of the Court that he
must be hanged in
front of his people.
They must be there.
Omar Mukhtar, you are accused...
...of open rebellion against the
lawful Government of your country.
What age are you?
Are you the head of the forces
in Libya fighting against Italy?
Yes, I am.
Have you taken part in
attacks on Italian Soldiers?
Yes, I have.
For how long have you taken
part in attacks on Italian Soldiers?
20 years.
How many attacks?
You know,... I couldn't
remember the number.
You ordered the torturing and
murdering of Italian Prisoners.
I did not.
You were captured with
arms in your hands!
Yes, I was.
The enemy of Italian soldiers.
In the field,
I would be his enemy.
But here...
I am obliged to.
I am appointed to defend him.
You are an old man.
Older than all of us here.
And I will not abuse you
with too many questions.
Did you ever submit
to the Italian authority?
I did not.
Did you ever receive money or other
subsidy from the Italian government... a condition of good behaviour?
I did not.
I declare...
that Omar Mukhtar
never submitted to us,...
...never took subsidy from us,...
...never recognized our right
to rule in this colony.
He cannot therefore,...
...illogic or justice,
be tried by us as a rebel.
When we captured Omar Mukhtar
after 20 years of battles...
...we are morally obliged to deal with
him as a prisoner of war.
Silence in court!
Captain Lontano, you
were ordered to
defend this rebel against
the charge of treason.
You have over-stepped your orders.
The sentence on you, Omar Mukhtar,... death by hanging, in public... the town of Sadook
at 11 o'clock tomorrow,...
...16th of September, 1931,...
...year 9 of the fascist era.
From God we come and
under God we shall return.
In the name of the Government of
the Italian Selanaica,
we execute this sentence as decreed
by the military tribunal of Benghazi
of the 15th day of September 1931,
year 9 of the fascist era.
Omar Mukhtar, you
have been found
guilty of high treason,
both morally and materially,
of a sustained
rebellion against
the Italian Government
of this Colony.
The sentence passed
by the Court, death by
hanging in a public place,
will now be carried out.
Thank you, god, for letting me
tie the hands of our enemies.
Untie him.
We will never surrender.
We win or we die.
We will have the next
generation to fight,...
...and after the next,
the next.
As for me, I will live longer
than my hang-man.